Support LinkSM is a new online hub that gives you tools and resources to make an informed decision about deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment option. It consists of six tools aimed at helping anyone considering Parkinson’s DBS therapy.
Support LinkSM provides comprehensive, professional information on DBS therapy. It can help you to better understand the benefits and risks of the therapy, and when to consider it.
Each Support LinkSM tool provides up-to-date information on DBS therapy. Here’s a quick guide:
In this animated introduction to the basics of DBS, ‘Emily ‘shares her experience of the procedure and how she felt about it. Shortly you will also have the opportunity to attend live webinars where experts explain DBS therapy in details.
2. Physician finder
If you aren’t getting the symptom relief you need from medication, the online physician directory helps you find a movement disorder neurologist or an expert DBS centre near you.
3. DBS referral adviser
Are you considering DBS therapy but don’t know if you are a good candidate? The DBS referral adviser tool is an online questionnaire that will make it easy to decide if DBS is a therapy you may want to discuss with your doctor. It will also help you to get ready for your next doctor’s appointment.
Your answers to the simple questionnaire – which you can complete at home – generate a report that you can then print and take to your next appointment. The report will help your doctor to understand how Parkinson’s affects you and how your current treatment plan is working. This tool has been developed and validated by experts such as neurologists, people with Parkinson’s and their families, and nurses.
4. Ambassador programme
Are you unsure how DBS therapy will affect you? With the ambassador programme, you can talk to someone who has experienced DBS therapy before. Ambassadors are volunteers – they are not medical experts or Medtronic employees. They are people who are happy to talk with you on the phone about their DBS experiences. You can also ask questions such as, “What was the procedure like?” and “How has it impacted on your daily life?” etc.
5. Support meetings
This is a list of DBS-related events taking place in your country that may support you in your Parkinson’s journey.
6. Parkinson’s Europe’S PD info
Parkinson’s Europe owns the largest online library dedicated to Parkinson’s disease in Europe, packed with wide-ranging information on every aspect of the condition that will supplement your decision on DBS and any other Parkinson’s-related queries.
Video: introduction to Support LinkSM
How to access Support LinkSM
Visit either the Parkinson’s Europe website or the Medtronic UK website to access all these tools and resources*. Local Parkinson’s associations and/or patient groups are encouraged to provide Support LinkSM to their members. The tools can be translated and added to your own website. Your regional Medtronic team is there to support you with IT implementation, translation as well as recruiting Ambassadors.
* Support LinkSM is currently available in the UK, but will soon be coming to other European countries.
Deep brain stimulation – one of Medtronic’s neuromodulation therapies – has been transforming the lives of people with movement disorders for over 25 years. Together with Professor Alim Louis Benabid and Professor Pierre Pollak, Medtronic pioneered DBS therapy and today over 125,000 people have benefited from this therapy worldwide.
The information contained on Support LinkSM is designed to help people with Parkinson’s learn more about the therapy and to provide them with helpful information. It is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. This therapy may not work for everyone. Results may vary from patients to patients. Be sure to discuss questions specific to your health and treatments with a healthcare professional. For further information, please consult your healthcare professional who can explain the benefits & risks and important safety information.
Vegetarian ‘Beet Wellington’ with mushrooms, aubergines and garlic
A vegetarian twist on a steak classic
4 days ago
Is dry eye disease common in people with Parkinson’s?
Dry eye disease can involve symptoms such as a lower blinking rate and typically occurs when the eyes are not effectively moistened by tears – leading to discomfort and possible vision loss. Now, a recent study from Japan has investigated the previously underexplored relationship between dry eye disease and Parkinson’s. As part of their research, the team analysed 13 studies published between 2004 and 2022, which involved more than 1,500 people with Parkinson’s. Five of the reports highlighted the prevalence of dry eye disease in people with the condition – with 61% experiencing symptoms. “Our findings emphasize the need for clinicians to be vigilant of the presence of dry eye disease when managing [people with Parkinson’s],” the researchers wrote. However, they noted that more research is needed – especially “future large-scale studies” – to help understand the relationship between dry eye disease and the condition.
Highlighting dental care needs among people with Parkinson’s disease
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have published a new study looking into dental care among people with Parkinson’s. Using a national register to obtain data relating to dental care between 2015 and 2019, the team identified 6,874 people with Parkinson’s, whose data was then compared to a control group of 34,285 people without the condition. A key takeaway from the five-year study was that a larger portion of people with Parkinson’s were not regular users of the dental care system – 21%, compared to 16.9% in the control group. The findings published in the journal ‘Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology’ also revealed that people with Parkinson’s utilised more dental-related treatment services than those in the control group – such as fillings and extractions. The researchers concluded: “This knowledge can be used by clinicians and decision-makers to ensure the optimal dental care for persons with Parkinson’s.”
Could risk factors for Parkinson’s disease be “largely man-made”?
New research has highlighted evidence of a potential link between Parkinson’s risk and exposure to toxic environmental factors – including air pollutants and human-made materials. The research was presented at the 147th Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association in Chicago, US, as part of a symposium on neurological disorders. The evidence included a study that highlighted that exposure to toxic pollutants may activate genes associated with the condition and that current environmental policies fail to consider the potential long-term effects of neurotoxic chemicals. “The world’s fastest-growing brain disease is largely man-made,” said neurologist Dr Ray Dorsey, one of the symposium speakers, in a press release. “The principal causes are toxic exposures to chemicals synthesised in the labs of chemical companies.” Calling for greater awareness surrounding the issue, he said: “If we educate the communities we’re supposed to serve, we can have them be mobilised and change the course of…