Reaching a Broader Community of Health Care Professionals to Improve PD Care: Eli Pollard


The chief training and education officer at the Parkinson’s Foundation detailed the challenges in disseminating educational materials to the clinical community that could have impacts on Parkinson disease care. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"The numbers [of patients with PD] are increasing, and we do need to prioritize that. The onus is on us to impress upon them the importance of understanding Parkinson disease, because if they’re not seeing patients now, they are or most likely will be seeing more people in the future."

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, there are nearly 1 million people in the US and 10 million worldwide currently living with Parkinson disease (PD), making it the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer disease. The incidence of PD increases with age, but an estimated 4% of individuals with the condition are diagnosed before age 50. Prior PD incidence rates, based on small studies, were estimated to be in the 40,000 to 60,000 range per year; however, a recent report showed that incidence rates are 1.5 times higher, at nearly 90,000 cases annually.

Despite the rise in PD cases each year, there are roughly only 600 movement disorder specialists available. These specialists are part of an interdisciplinary care team that features neurologists, primary care physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, dentists, community health workers, and many more. Even though an institution might not encounter an overloading number of patients with PD, it’s important that clinicians’ understand what each specialist may bring to the table, says Eli Pollard.

Pollard, who currently serves as the chief training and education officer at the Parkinson’s Foundation, was part of a recently launched program by the organization to educate healthcare professionals nationwide on optimal PD care. In an interview with NeurologyLive®, she provided perspective on the challenges in reaching a broader audience, relaying messages about the importance of each member of an interdisciplinary team, and why most neurologists will see patients with PD in the near future.

For more information on the educational series, head to:

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