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Parkinson's society welcomes self-referrals plan

Parkinson's society welcomes self-referrals plan
28th October 2008

A new initiative to enable patients in the UK to self-refer to physiotherapists and similar health professionals has been welcomed by the Parkinson's Disease Society (PDS).

PDS chief executive Steve Ford argued that although gaining swift access to therapeutic services is known to make a real difference to patients, this is not what has been happening for many people living with Parkinson's disease.

Over half of people with Parkinson's disease have never had a physiotherapy assessment or course of treatment, he added.

"We've learned from our recent survey of 13,000 people with Parkinson's that their top priority is access to physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy, when they need it," said Mr Ford.

He said expectations will now have been raised among Parkinson's patients and expressed the hope that they will not be disappointed when details of the plan are revealed next month.

Meanwhile, researchers in the US say they will assess an apparent link between pesticides and Parkinson's disease.

Dr Marie-Francoise Chesselet of the University of California has been awarded a research grant of $6.5 million (£4 million) for the study which will explore how pesticides might disrupt molecular pathways and lead to a higher risk of developing the disease.

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