Education can improve diagnosis, treatment of parkinsonism in assisted living

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Education can help increase the diagnosis and treatment of parkinsonism in assisted living communities, according to research recently presented at the XXII World Congress of Neurology in Santiago, Chile.

Neurologists evaluated 821 people living in assisted living communities in Slovakia and found that 13% of them had parkinsonism, most commonly from Parkinson's disease (59%) or vascular parkinsonism (40.7%), according to an abstract of the research, published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences. Other causes included Lewy body disease, drug-induced parkinsonism, frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism and Fahr disease. Of the residents with parkinsonism, 74% had dementia and 59% had depression.

Only 51% of the residents had entered the assisted living community with a diagnosis of parkinsonism, according to authors Stanislav Sutovsky, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter Turcani, M.D., Ph.D., of Comenius University and University Hospital in Bratislava, Slovakia, and only 55% of residents with parkinsonian were treated with medications for the condition.

"However, after a comprehensive education program was initiated in 10 facilities, the proportions of correctly diagnosed primary parkinsonism rose, as did the number of patients adequately treated for it," according to Medcape coverage of Sutovsky's presentation at the conference.

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