Review: The New Parkinson’s Central App from National Parkinson’s Foundation
Posted Sep 26 2013 11:06pm
The National Parkinson's Foundation has become a part of the App circle with their recent “Parkinson's Central” App, available through iTunes.
Parkinson's Central is a place that makes it easy for people to find out more about Parkinson's disease and explores several areas of interest. From general information about the disease, to treatment options, recent research, an extensive index of the site, and more.
I was surprised at how much information there actually was in this 'little' app. The main screen gives you nine icons to explore more about PD: About PD, Symptoms,Treatment, Doctor Visits, Research, Index, Living Well, Near Me and About NPF (National Parkinson's Foundation).
All of the topics are covered pretty thoroughly for this App. For example, if you were to click on “Symptoms”, you'd next find a page with two headings, “Motor Symptoms” and “Non-Motor Symptoms”. If you were to click on “Motor Symptoms”, you are given a list of those symptoms associated with PD (tremor, balance and falls, bradykinesia, dyskinesias,gait disorder, rigidity, wearing off and “on/off”) and each symptom can be clicked on to give you a more detailed explanation of each of the symptoms listed. (Non-motor symptoms covered include anxiety, constipation, cognitive impairment, depression, impulsivity, orthostatic,hypertension, pain, swallowing difficulties, hallucinations and psychosis, sexual dysfunction, sleep difficulties, and urinary dysfunction.) On each page of each symptom, there is a place to click for even more information.
It is basic for the “beginning patient”or for one who wants to know more about PD, but it also it also delves into the subject for those wanting to dig a little deeper. Not only is this convenient for anyone with PD, but it can be useful for those wanting to know more or for those with PD who are trying to explain PD issues to someone unfamiliar with the disease. They can be directed to the site or it could be shared on your smart phone as you meet for lunch.
To download the App, go to your iTunes App, type Parkinson's Central in the search bar, download App and use. It's free and it's worth the space in your phone!
For those wanting a bit more info on the site, below is a more comprehensive list of topics covered.
About PD – gives a simple overview of Parkinson's disease and treatments, risk factors, genetics, environmental factors, patient resources (what you and your family should know and PD basics); explain how is PD diagnosed, the role genetics plays in PD and touches on similar conditions to PD.
Symptoms – covers motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms; gives fairly extensive info re: symptoms if you choose to explore more in this area.
Treatment – scheduling your meds (lists meds and their purpose), first line meds (covers those drugs that are most often prescribed – carbidopa/levodopa, dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors which block MAO-B, an enzyme that breaks down your dopamine), other meds (anti-depressants, antipsychotics, stimulants), surgery options (focuses on DBS), alternative treatments (includes a download that covers complimentary and alternative therapies for PD), exercise (benefits/importance of exercise, with a strong focus on tai chi and yoga), your care team. Care team covers info useful in later stages of PD; covers steps to take to maximize meds and being in an 'on' state.
Doctor Visits – establishing the patient/doctor (neurologist/movement disorder specialist) relationship; importance of the whole care team; what to expect at the first visit; follow-up visits. Covers how to get the best care should you need to go to the hospital and topics on having PD with other conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Includes a section devoted to PD and dental care.
Living Well – the importance of good nutrition for those living with PD; managing meals with medications. Topics: Adjusting to Home Living, Caring for Someone with PD, Financial an Disability, Insurance, Advanced Disease, Legal Issues, Employment, Driving with PD, Traveling with PD.
Research – research in PD and info on becoming a volunteer in a study