TORONTO, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Patients with Parkinson's will soon have
a new place to turn for practical resources that could help improve
their quality of life. A physician specializing in movement disorders
at Baycrest Health Sciences teamed up with the Assistive Technology
Clinic (ATC) and students from George Brown College to create recipes
and develop a website offering people with Parkinson's practical tools
and information to manage their symptoms.
The website, livewellwithparkinsons.com, provides important information on two key aspects of symptom
management: diet and medication.
"For patients with Parkinson's, knowledge is empowerment and it is
crucial for being able to live well with the disease," says Dr. Galit
Kleiner-Fisman, a neurologist at Baycrest, assistant professor of
Medicine at the University of Toronto, and medical director of the Jeff
and Diane Ross Movement Disorders Clinic, a specialized clinic that is
a collaboration between Baycrest and ATC .
"Unfortunately, many patients have some fundamental gaps in their
knowledge about managing their symptoms, resulting in lack of
optimization in symptom control."
Kleiner-Fisman points to the drug, Levodopa. It's one of the most
commonly prescribed medications to control symptoms like tremor,
rigidity and slowness of movement. However, when it interacts with
protein-rich foods it can be less effective.
"Some people taking the medication need to follow a protein
redistribution diet," she says. "They need to control not only what
they eat, but also when they eat it. Avoiding nutritional mistakes can be very difficult
because many with Parkinson's don't know all the facts about which
foods are high in protein."
She stresses that it is important to meet daily protein requirements to
maintain health and recommends reducing protein during the day when
people are most mobile, requiring maximum effectiveness from Levodopa,
and redistributing it to the evening when they may be more sedentary.
In order to create a website that would not only provide information
about diet, but offer a recipe for success, Kleiner-Fisman enlisted the
help of her team at ATC and culinary students from George Brown's Food
Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt). Together, they developed
recipes and meal plans to make following a protein-redistribution diet
simple, healthy and appetizing.
"When you have the correct information about Parkinson's you can adapt
rather than just feeling overwhelmed," says Keith Goobie, 55, a
Parkinson's patient in the Jeff and Diane Ross Movement Disorders
Clinic who was diagnosed in 2010. "The information I've received from
working with Dr. Kleiner-Fisman has been empowering. I hope this
website will enable more people with Parkinson's to benefit from that
same level of empowerment."
The website, which was developed by students in George Brown's Centre
for Construction and Engineering Technologies, launched on June 20.
Dr. Robert Luke, Assistant Vice President of Research and Innovation at
George Brown, says the Live Well with Parkinson's project has been a valuable learning opportunity for students in both
the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, and the Centre for
Construction and Engineering Technologies.
"This initiative provided a unique opportunity for students to gain
hands-on experience while working directly with industry professionals
and patients. They learned how their careers can enhance the quality
of life for those with chronic conditions," says Luke. "George Brown
was able to provide the team at Baycrest access to highly qualified
staff, faculty and students, a state-of-the-art simulation environment
at FIRSt, and much-needed funding to take their project from concept to
commercialization. It's win-win."
The project was supported and funded by the Jeff and Diane Ross Movement
Disorders Clinic at Baycrest, The Assistive Technology Clinic, the
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Academic Health Science
Centre's Alternative Funding Plan (AFP) Innovation Fund, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) program.
SOURCE: George Brown College
For further information:
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Corporate Communications Manager
George Brown College
416-415-5000 ext. 3767
Coordinator, Marketing and Communications
Baycrest Health Sciences
416-785-2500 ext. 5724