Letter from Leadership
One of the things we strive for at the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) is to explore ideas that are of great interest to our readers but that are covered too superficially in the media. The line-up of contents in this edition of PDF News & Review illustrates the point well.
Take for example our lead story, "The Doctor is In ... Your Living Room?" Telehealth has been around for decades, primarily as a means of improving service to geographically isolated areas where conventional care is often hard to obtain. But only a few reports have explored the application of this technology to the diagnosis and management of Parkinson's disease. In this article, our editors take a careful look at how telehealth can potentially widen access to PD care, improve its quality, and offer a new way to advance research and new treatments for PD.
In another area that is rarely covered in the detail that it deserves to be, our editors write about the role of brain donation. We do not very often recognize the people with Parkinson’s and loved ones who make this priceless gift, nor do we acknowledge how their gifts are dramatically advancing science. In our scientific report (see page 3), note the rich vein of discoveries taking place at PDF Research Centers in New York and Chicago. In a very different kind of report (see page 9) you can meet one of the unknown heroes who made this gift, as told in a moving narrative by his daughter, New York Times reporter Kate Zernike.
In yet another area, one more familiar to readers, Angela Roberts-South, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate, a speech language pathologist at Western University in Ontario, describes the communication challenges that face so many people in the Parkinson's world (see page 4). She adds to our knowledge by offering helpful suggestions that aren’t yet widely known – from voice exercises to the devices that can help amplify the voice.
We hope we have given these issues the attention they deserve, to help you make decisions about your care. But now we ask your help in giving greater attention to Parkinson’s as a whole.
April, which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, is coming up quickly. PDF is offering tools to help you raise awareness and we encourage you to begin now. Why? We leave you with the words of our good friend Pam Quinn of New York City, “Awareness of Parkinson’s leads to compassion, compassion leads to giving, giving leads to research... and research will lead to a cure.”
We wish you a happy New Year!
Robin Anthony Elliott