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Substantial Matters: Life & Science of Parkinson’s

Jul 12, 2022

Just as people in the general population have to contend with various unrelated medical conditions, so may people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Such conditions are termed “comorbidities,” that is, diseases or conditions occurring along with, in this case, PD. Examples are cardiovascular disease, strokes, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, cancer, cataracts, other diseases of aging, as well as those that can occur at any stage of life. An important consideration is to determine which health professional would be best at addressing them and who coordinates the care. A movement disorders specialist may feel comfortable treating a general neurological condition in addition to PD, but in this podcast episode, movement disorders neurologist Ashley Rawls, MD, MS of the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, emphasizes that one’s time with her is best used addressing the person’s PD, while comorbidities are most appropriately managed by specialists in those particular areas. For best patient outcomes, proper coordination of care and sharing of information will give each health professional a total picture of the person’s medical management, including prescribed drugs and possible drug interactions.