Although science has yet to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease, new technologies have proved valuable in monitoring and administering treatments for controlling its symptoms.
About a half-million people suffer from Parkinson’s disease, a progressive degenerative condition characterized by slowness of movement, tremors and instability, the National Parkinson Foundation estimates.
AS ALWAYS, EXERCISE
The foundation’s recent “Parkinson’s Outcomes Project” study found that people who exercise a minimum of 2½ hours a week experience a slower decline in quality of life. Wearables such as the Fitbit that monitors a person’s steps, distance and calories burned and the Apple Watch that tracks sitting or standing, sets weekly exercise goals, and measures walking and running are quickly becoming tools for Parkinson’s patients.
“It’s very valuable when you, as an individual with Parkinson’s disease, can take charge of your own health,” said Dr. Peter Schmidt, the foundation’s senior vice president and chief mission officer. “Wearable technology allows them to do this.”
Schmidt was recently in Southern Nevada as a guest speaker at the Friends of Parkinson’s second annual Parkinson’s Medical Symposium. He spoke on how technology plays an important part in helping to treat the disease.