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Parkinsonís Disease Foundation Offers Free Online Course to Physical Therapists to Improve Lives of People with Parkinsonís

(New York, NY – April 20, 2012) The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to offer physical therapists a free online course, “Parkinson’s Disease: A Practical Approach to Evaluation and Treatment for the Physical Therapist,” which is being taped in front a live audience today in New York, NY.  The course is designed by expert physical therapists in the field of Parkinson’s to help other physical therapists provide better care for the nearly one million people in the United States (US) living with Parkinson’s.

During the month of April, which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, 5,000 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with Parkinson's.  While no treatment can prevent or reverse Parkinson's, research suggests that physical therapy can improve physical mobility and quality of life.  For example, people with Parkinson's often experience difficulty walking, rising from chairs and moving in bed.  Research has shown that physical therapy can help improve strength, fitness level, walking speed and balance, leading to reduced disability and greater independence, says planning committee member Terry Ellis, P.T., Ph.D., N.C.S.

Physical therapists and people with Parkinson’s alike have communicated the need for trained physical therapists to care for the growing Parkinson’s community.  To meet this need, PDF is collaborating with the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA), the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), to bring the latest evidence-based information to physical therapists.  The course includes ten educational sessions and two interactive panel discussions. 

Dr. Ellis, also a Clinical Associate Professor at Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, in Boston, MA, said, “As physical therapists, we can make a difference in the lives of people with Parkinson's – helping individuals to navigate the movement challenges that affect activities of daily life through engagement in exercise over the course of the disease.  This course puts the latest evidence-based findings in the hands of practitioners around the country to help them provide the best care possible.”

Robin Anthony Elliott, Executive Director of PDF, noted, “Physical therapists play a critical role in helping people with Parkinson’s to manage their disease day-to-day.  PDF is committed to providing physical therapists and other health care professionals with the tools they need – whether through this online course or via other educational programs – to improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.”

Today’s live course will take place at NYU Langone Medical Center, 550 First Avenue, Farkas Auditorium in New York, NY.  As of Friday, May 4, the course will be available free on PDF’s website at http://support.pdf.org/ptherapy.  Physical therapists can view the course over the next year at their convenience.  0.8 continuing education units are available.

“Parkinson’s Disease: A Practical Approach to Evaluation and Treatment for the Physical Therapist,” is presented by PDF in collaboration with APDA, APTA and VNSNY.  It is made possible with the support of Kenneth M. and Susan Granat Weil in memory of John and Joan Haine, the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation and the American Physical Therapy Association and with in-kind support from Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Medical Center.  Additional promotion is provided through our media partners, which include Houston Area Parkinson Society, National Parkinson Foundation, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation and Parkinson Association of the Carolinas.

About Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US.  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's.

About Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is a leading national presence in Parkinson’s disease research, education and public advocacy.  We are working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson’s by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson’s through educational programs and services.  Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated over $90 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $37 million to support national education and advocacy programs.


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Source Date: Apr 20 2012