How Technology Has Advanced Parkinson Disease Treatment: Jill Farmer, DO, MPH


The assistant professor of neurology and director of the Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorder Program at Global Neurosciences Institute provided insight on how technology expands the capabilities of treating Parkinson disease. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"Whether its technology to help with symptoms in a very robust way, like surgical interventions or something as simple as attaching a laser light to your walker, the access to different technological strategies run the gamut and can be helpful and applied."

For years, the standard therapy for patients with Parkinson disease (PD) has been levodopa, designed to replenish the brain’s dwindling supply of dopamine. Clinicians may prescribe other medications to treat PD symptoms, including dopamine agonists, enzyme inhibitors, anticholinergic drugs, and amantadine (Gocovri; Adamas Pharmaceuticals). For a condition that lacks a disease-modifying therapy, patients within the community have become reliant on the benefits brought on by new technology.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS), a surgical procedure in which implanted electrodes stimulate specific areas in the brain, has become an increasingly used option for those who do not respond well to medications. Other physical, occupational, and speech therapies have been shown to help with gait and voice disorders, tremors and rigidity, and decline in mental functions.

To Jill Farmer, DO, MPH, the expansion of technology has been most beneficial in terms of capturing and assessing large-scale data. As part of Parkinson Awareness Month, Farmer, an assistant professor of neurology and the director of the Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorder Program at Global Neurosciences Institute, sat down to discuss the latest in technological advances for these patients. She commented on the new modalities being used, the differences in surgical options, and where the field may expand to next.

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