An Australian-led online education summit for people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) will allow patients and their carers to access latest research and treatment options from anywhere in the world. The event will hear from neurologists, physiotherapists, other health professionals and researchers and provides patients a forum to ask questions and discuss their own experiences living with the disease.
The Insight into Parkinson’s summit was initiated by Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) member Melissa McConaghy, a specialist neurological physiotherapist and creator of the PD Warrior 10 Week Challenge exercise program that provides a strong motivational support network and education for Parkinson’s patients.
More than 100,000 Australians live with the progressive, debilitating symptoms of PD, for which there is currently no cure. Medications only mask the symptoms of PD; none have been shown to slow its progression. Early intervention exercise programs delivered by neurological physios help patients take control of their treatment, helping them move better and with more confidence.
Melissa says, “The exercises we get our patients to do are targeted to the specific type of Parkinson’s they have and the impairments they present with. The exercises help train the brain to have better control of the body and therefore give more confidence to those living with the disease, enhancing their quality of life.”
“Because we aim to see people soon after diagnosis and when they are moving relatively well, the exercises are challenging, both physically and mentally. This dual focus is where we see people using the functional movements to improve balance, dexterity, mobility and thinking.”
“The philosophy behind the summit is to share clinical and research information with patients on a global platform so they are at the centre of their treatment decisions and better able to make informed choices with their treating physicians.”
The Insight into Parkinson’s summit will hear from neurologists, researchers, physios and other allied health practitioners and provide education to inform and lead further research and treatment options.
“With the number of Australians living with Parkinson’s expected to double in the next 15 years, the time is right to bring everyone into the conversation. Anecdotal stories from patients about what works for them and global collaboration can only help to further research, which might just uncover a cure.”
The Insight into Parkinson’s summit commences on World Parkinson’s Day, Thursday 11 April and runs until Saturday 13 April. It can be accessed by registering at www.insightintopd.com.
Melissa McConaghy is available for further comment.
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