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People with Parkinson’s concerned about non-motor symptoms

Posted by
Steffen Fritzsche, Corporate Communications Germany
Give people with Parkinson’s disease the opportunity to ask experts about their condition and you will hear plenty of discussion about the cause of the disease and its associated motion problems. However, you will also learn a great deal about the non-motor symptoms that are of major concern to them.

This was the experience of UCB Germany which hosted a five-hour toll-free telephone Question & Answer session about Parkinson’s disease. People affected by the disease had the opportunity to ask two neurologists – Dr Stefan Ries and Dr Michael Lorrain – for advice about their condition. There was also the option of discussing practical concerns and experiences with UCB Parkinson patient ambassador Wolfgang Bornemann.

The response was excellent. A total of 312 people took the opportunity to put their questions to the experts and the patient advocate. The main focus of the questions was on non-motor symptoms, the course of the disease and how it affects close family members who care for the patient.

People with Parkinson’s sought information on depression, cognitive impairment and sleeping problems as part of the exercise. They also had important questions about the influence of food and nutrition on the disease and its treatment. For example, they wondered about the impact of drinking coffee or eating red meat.

The initiative has also helped to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease in Germany and the range of ways it can impact on patients and those who care for them. The Q&A session was widely publicised in advance and received nationwide media attention. Reports on the campaign were shared through 32 publications with a total circulation of 4.5 million.

We have run this kind of ‘Ask the Expert’ session many times in the past and look forward to doing more in future.