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GE Healthcare launches online patient and caregiver resource for Parkinson disease

GE Healthcare : 17 October, 2012  (Company News)
As part of GE Healthcare's ongoing commitment to provide resources for those living with movement disorders, the company is unveiling a new online patient and caregiver resource -

The website brings together tools and activities from national and community organizations to educate visitors about Parkinson's disease (PD) and parkinsonian syndromes (PS), the importance of early diagnosis and the benefits of movement (eg exercise, dance, stretching) in developing new skills that can help make everyday tasks easier.

"I believe that people with movement disorders like PD deserve a team approach as they strive to maintain their quality of life," said David Leventhal, Program Manager and founding teacher of the Dance for PD program, a collaboration between Mark Morris Dance Group and Brooklyn Parkinson Group. "When diagnosticians, somatic instructors, scientists, physicians, therapists, dance artists, caregivers and people with movement disorders pool resources, ideas and complementary approaches, the path to living better with movement disorders becomes clearer, and the range of positive options available to each individual expands." offers visitors informative tools that help patients and caregivers understand more about their disease, prepare for a visit with their healthcare team, find local support groups and learn about the benefits of activities such as walking, stretching, dancing and exercising. In addition, the site explains the various methods used to diagnose some movement disorders and describes some clinical trial options available for people with suspected PS and people without PS who are motivated to volunteer. The site also links directly to tools provided by The Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF) and the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), such as how to participate in a clinical trial for PD and local NPF events. Site visitors are also encouraged to share their stories and experiences about how they have been affected by movement disorders and about the value of accurate diagnosis and treatment by visiting

"We are excited to launch, which underscores the importance of early diagnosis and community support," said Terri Moench, General Manager, SPECT, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics. "The site combines resources from third party and government organizations and community groups to help educate both patients and caregivers about movement disorders, providing them with information about dealing with their condition."

Parkinsonian syndromes, including PD, are neurodegenerative disorders that occur when the brain does not get enough dopamine to perform certain functions. This affects the ability of the brain to control movement and other muscle functions, which can lead to tremor, slowness of movement, muscle stiffness and balance problems. In the United States, 50,000 to 60,000 new cases of PD are diagnosed each year,2 and it is estimated that as many as one million people around the country suffer from the condition. There are many misconceptions about PD diagnosis. A recent NPF survey found that 33 percent of Americans believe that a blood test can detect PD, and 30 percent did not know that doctors cannot diagnose PD based on the results of a blood test.

"It is important that we rally together as a community to help support those struggling with PD, while exploring diagnostic and clinical research advancements," said Joyce Oberdorf, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Parkinson Foundation. "Through and other education and community outreach, we hope to give people living with movement disorders the tools they need to live their lives to the fullest."

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