Access to medical support for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease is improving, according to local health practitioners.
Each year since 2013, Goulburn Valley Health has hosted an awareness event for health professionals and the community, outlining some of the issues facing those who have been touched by the disease and their families and carers.
The most recent event on Friday outlined some of the new therapies available for rural communities.
Now in its fourth year, the full-day program included educational talks by eminent and inspiring experts, including Dr Barry Vieira, Margaret Vieira, Associate Professor Krishna Vaddadi, Melissa McConaghy, Caterina Marigliani, Associate Professor Sanjay Raghav, Paris Wages, Dr Narelle Warren and Dr Margi Gould.
Topics discussed ranged from advanced therapies, management of the disease, lifestyle measures and the important role of carers.
Every day 30 people in Australia are diagnosed with the disease and GV Health divisional clinical director Arup Bhattacharya said there were high incidences in the Goulburn Valley.
‘‘There has been many studies which have had a strong relation to just rural living,’’ Dr Bhattacharya said.
‘‘Not only other things like well-water drinking and crop pesticides, but just rural living has an increased chance of Parkinson’s, so we have a little bit of a higher incidence. That just makes our case more resolute to be providing the best care possible.’’
The event touched on the important types of advanced therapies which help sufferers maintain independence.
Exercise, particularly high intensity, has also become a huge component of research.
Dr Bhattacharya said the aim of the event was to give residents access to new medical information about the disease, as well as knowledgeable guest speakers, to improve their situation.
‘‘They can themselves manage their symptoms, but this cannot be without education, and I feel it’s a role of the local specialists and the specialist service to give that to the community, a little bit of control over their own disease,’’ Dr Bhattacharya said.
‘‘For them to be able to understand that what we’re offering here is in keeping with the latest research, latest development to bring outside speakers, just validates the treatment and the reassurance that they get being in a regional area, that they’re not getting an inferior service or a lower quality service than they would get being in another area.
‘‘So even though it’s a local service it can provide up-to-date and cutting-edge facilities here.’’