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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Orion Pharma develops specialist interactive website for patients with Parkinson's

24th February 2012

Orion Pharma has funded an interactive website for Parkinson’s patients, their carers and health care professionals.

The site  www.wearingoff.co.uk offers support and tools on how to recognise wearing-off symptoms as well as being packed with information to help patients. It also contains an online symptom diary to track a patient’s progress.

Every hour someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition with no cure. 1 The main symptoms are tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement which usually begin very gradually, develop slowly and can occur in any order.
Levodopa therapies are prescribed eventually to most people with Parkinson’s. However, long term use of this medicine may give rise to certain complications where symptom control fades out and the effect of the drug wears off.

The symptoms that tend to return during wearing-off may include tremor, stiffness, slowness, muscle cramping, reduced dexterity and agility, mood changes, slowness of thinking, anxiety or even pain at the end-of-dose period.

www.wearingoff.co.uk contains detailed symptom questionnaires which can be regularly filled in and printed off for patients to prompt discussion with their doctor – allowing treatment to be quickly adjusted to improve symptoms.

A spokesman for Orion said: ‘The pressures of coping with Parkinson’s are immense and the amount of information available can be overwhelming. This site guides patients and their carers through the key information, treatment available, symptoms to watch out for and contains helpful blogs from other patients.’


The symptoms of Parkinson’s

Tremor – Tremor usually begins on one hand or arm. It is more likely to occur when the affected part of the body is resting and it decreases or even disappears when the affected part is being used. Around 70% of people with Parkinson’s disease suffer from tremor.
Muscular rigidity or stiffness – People can find it difficult to get out of a chair or roll over in bed. It can also be difficult to open a door, write with a pen or even sort money in a purse. Some people also develop a stooped posture or experience a stiff face.
Slowness of movement – People with Parkinson’s often find it difficult to start movements or moving and it can take longer to perform movements. Lack of co-ordination can also be a problem. Other symptoms include tiredness, depression and difficulties with speech, balance and writing.

10 facts about Parkinson’s

  • Parkinson’s is named after Dr James Parkinson (1755-1824), the doctor that first identified the condition.
  • It is caused by the loss of brain cells (neurones) in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra, which produces the chemical messenger dopamine.
  • As the cells die, less dopamine is produced and transported to the striatum, the area of the brain that co-ordinates movement. Symptoms develop when about 80% of dopamine has been lost.
  • The reason that Parkinson’s develops is not known.
  • Approximately 4 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s. Around 120,000 people in the UK have the condition.
  • The main symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremor, slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and muscle stiffness or rigidity.
  • The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published guidance on the treatment of Parkinson’s in June 20062.
  • There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but treatments can help control the symptoms and maintain quality of life.
  • Parkinson’s can be treated with a combination of drug treatments and other therapies, for example, speech therapy, physiotherapy.
  • The risk of developing Parkinson’s increases with age. Symptoms usually occur after the age of 50.
  • Around 1 in 20 people are diagnosed under the age of 40 years.

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