How New Technology Advances Can Help Those with Parkinson’s – Interview

How New Technology Advances Can Help Those with Parkinson’s – Interview

Image by Kim Heimbuch from Pixabay

Every single year, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease,[i] a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.

Many Parkinson’s disease symptoms involve

losing the ability to control your muscles and movement, making daily activities like performing at work, writing, and even getting dressed difficult or even impossible.[ii]

This loss of movement control and reliance on others can make people feel as though they are missing out on important aspects of life and relationships with spouses, family, and friends.

When Parkinson’s medications still work

but become less effective, deep brain stimulation therapy, or DBS Therapy, is a treatment option to help control some of the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s like shaking, slowed movement, and stiffness.

DBS Therapy uses a small pacemaker-like device, placed under the skin of the chest, to send electrical signals through very thin wires to an area in the brain that controls movement.

To provide relief,

these signals block some of the brain messages that cause the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s.

For many people with Parkinson’s, DBS can offer a new lease on life, allowing them to live more independently and pursue their passions, whatever they may be.

As April marks National Parkinson’s Awareness Month,

join me in a recent interview with, Dr. Shahed, MD, a movement disorders neurologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, New York and patient, Jeff, living with PD as they discussed the latest technology surrounding DBS and how it can help improve or relieve movement symptoms of Parkinson’s.

They’ll also talk about how to know if deep brain stimulation is right for others with PD and the impact of the disease on those living with it.

See the entire interview here:

For more information about DBS at

Bio Dr. Shahed-After completing her undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Shahed received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Neurology residency training at Duke University Medical Center.

She then completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders at the Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Center (PDCMDC) at BCM. Her research interests lie in investigating the intraoperative neurophysiology of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) for movement disorders and the application of wearables and digital health technologies to the care of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Shahed serves as Chair of the Functional Neurosurgical Working Group of the Parkinson Study Group, Chair of the Science Advisory Board for the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Tourette Association of America, and past chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Houston Area Parkinson Society.

She is the lead investigator for RAD-PD: a national quality improvement registry for patients undergoing DBS surgery for Parkinson’s disease. She is also an investigator with the Huntington Study Group, Dystonia Coalition and TSA International Database of DBS Studies in Tourette syndrome.

She has served as Principal Investigator for industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials and has authored several papers and book chapters. She is the recipient of the Roy H. Cullen Quality of Life Award (Houston Area Parkinson Society), the Rising Start Clinician Award (BCM), the Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching and Evaluation (BCM) and the Healthcare Heroes Award for Outstanding Health Care Practitioner (Houston Business Journal). She was recognized as a Woman of Excellence at BCM, and is a 2018 graduate of the inaugural Women Leading in Neurology program of the American Academy of Neurology.

Bio Jeff was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in July 2016 at the age of 64. He practiced dentistry in Long Island , NY for over 40 years prior to his diagnosis ,retiring shortly after. He spends his retirement golfing, caring for his young grandchildren, and working out with his friends at Rock Steady Boxing. Originally from Baltimore, MD Jeff attended Emory University in Atlanta where he met his wife Jan.

[i] Statistics. Parkinson’s Foundation. Accessed February 2021.

[ii] Parkinson’s Disease. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed February 2021.

Cynthia Tait

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