The Benefits of Telemedicine in Parkinson Disease: James Beck, PhD


The chief scientific officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation also talked about the recent PD Health @ Home series created by the foundation.

“Even though we may have limited physical sites that are able to have in person recruitment [for clinical research], the minute we open it up to telemedicine, we've been able to really see a large increase in interest and ability to participate of people with Parkinson's throughout the country.”

The Parkinson’s Foundation, in conjunction with the Movement Disorders Division of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, recently published results from a study that revealed disparities in telehealth use between income and education levels in people with Parkinson disease (PD).

Other findings from the survey include increased telehealth use for surveyed patients (n = 1342) from 9.7% prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to 63.5% during the pandemic. The researchers also found that 893 (66.5%) reported nervousness or anxiety, 683 (50.9%) reported feeling down or disturbed, 720 (53.7%) reported reduced interest or pleasure in doing things, and 888 (66.2%) reported sleep disturbances in the last 6 weeks prior to the survey.

NeurologyLive spoke with James Beck, PhD, chief scientific officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation and adjunct associate professor, department of neuroscience and physiology, New York University School of Medicine, to learn more about the use of telehealth in caring for patients with PD. He also spoke about the potential use of telemedicine in clinical research, as well as the “PD Health @ Home” series that the Parkinson’s foundation recently created to help support patients’ mental and physical health during the pandemic.

Feeney MP, Xu Y, Surface M, et al. The impact of COVID-19 and social distancing on people with Parkinson’s disease: a survey study. NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2021;7(1):10. doi: 10.1038/s41531-020-00153-8
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