Telemedicine Helps Parkinson's Patients - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Telemedicine Helps Parkinson's Patients

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SALISBURY, Md. - You may not be able to tell by looking at him, but Art Cooley knows Parkinson's all too well.  He tells WMDT "in 2008/2009 I began to exhibit symptoms and after going to the doctor up to Johns Hopkins resources, they confirmed that I had Parkinson's disease."

Considered a neurological disorder, Parkinson's can be treated by neurologists, but it can take a doctor trained as a movement specialist to provide a proper diagnosis.  A recent study estimates as many as 7,000 people are living with this disease on Delmarva, but there aren't any movement specialists on the peninsula.  This has brought the Lower Shore Parkinson's Support Group, the MAC center, and Johns Hopkins to work together to provide a new way to help patients diagnose the debilitating disease.

Dr. Renee Fredericksen is the Special Projects Director for MAC Inc. in Salisbury.  There, she runs the Caregiver Resource Center where a new Telemedicine program will start mid February.  "Telemedicine enables us to use telephone lines and computer access to bring doctors with specialties and other specialist in the world right into your home," says Fredericksen.

While the consultations aren't available in the home just yet, Fredericksen says that step is just months away and will hopefully begin August 2013.  In the mean time, consultations will be held at the MAC center every 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm starting February 13, 2013.

Over a secure video conferencing system, patients will be able to meet with Dr. Dorsey from Johns Hopkins for a free, one-time, one hour consultation for a possible movement disorder.  Once diagnosed, the person will be referred to a local neurologist who will be able to provide treatment.

Art Cooley thinks telemedicine will not only help individuals suffering from movement disorders like Parkinson's, it could revolutionize healthcare in Delmarva, saying "we hope this'll help make a dent in it and this will improve the health care on the lower shore."

If you're interested in scheduling a consultation, contact Dr. Renee Fredericksen at the Caregiver Resource Center.
Phone: 410-742-0505 x115


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