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Data system targets Parkinson’s symptoms

Michelle Henderson, AAP National Medical Writer, www.news.ninemsn.com.au

Treating Parkinson’s Disease sufferers with the right drug dose at the right time is often an inexact science.

But a wrist-worn device which collects data on a patient’s symptoms is allowing practitioners to improve treatment.

The device, based on technology developed at Melbourne’s Florey Neuroscience Institute, records data every two minutes on a patient’s movement disorders – one of the major symptoms of the degenerative disease.

The data automatically generates a report for the patient’s neurologist showing the severity of the movement disorder and the relationship between their symptoms and their medication.

The device also reminds the patient when to take their drugs.

The system, worn on the wrist like a watch, has been trialled on more than 550 patients over the past three years.

It has been commercially available at 10 sites and about 50 patients across Australia since March.

Florey Neuroscience Institutes neurologist Professor Malcolm Horne said one of the problems for Parkinson’s sufferers was that symptoms varied from day to day.

The device is worn by patients for 10 days, which allows neurologists to get a broad picture of what is happening most of the time.

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