I'm corresponding on behalf of my dad - 69 year old Rod who was diagnosed almost a year ago with Parkinson's. Since his diagnosis he has been receiving a number of different doses of cocarolDopa (I have spelt that wrong eh?!)coupled with 2 other drugs which he has been taken off because of awful side effects (halluciantions, confusion, slurring etc). My parents go to an excellent centre that is primarily for people suffering with MS but is also used by Parkinson's sufferers - offers physio, yoga, a Wii-fit room! However, a number of comments have been made at the centre concerning my dad's doctor X. He is not a neurologist by training but has written many books and peer-reviewed publications in the scientific literature about brain function and specifically the impacts & treatment of parkinson's in the elderly. Specifically, nurses at the centre have told my parents that dad must see a neurologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. My parents don't know what to do - they are beginning to doubt their current doctor X especailly since he has recently decided to stop trying any new combinations of drugs and keep my dad of cocarolDopa for the 'long-term' despite telling them there are '100s'of drugs to try when first diagnsoed. Would really welcome any comments! Many thanks, Kelly
It is usually recommended that diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's be undertaken by a neurologist specialising in movement disorders. You can ask (or rather you father can) the GP to refer you to such. If you are involved with a local pd support group, it may be worth asking other members for their experience of their neurologist so that,if it is an option, you can state a preference.
Having said that, the facilities available at the Centre your father attends sound fantastic. May I ask what sort of a doctor Dr X is,if not a neurologist? Is he connected with the centre?
Yup, AB is right. Sounds a bit odd to me.
A diagnosis should definitely be done by a neurologist, preferably specialising in movement disorders. Sometimes a geriatrician with a special interest in PD may do this but I was 69 when I was diagnosed and I certainly would not accepted anything but a neuro - indeed I checked up on him before I saw him. You seem to be saying that your GP has taken the diagnosis upon himself. Can I have read this right? I speak as someone whose father died with throat cancer having been prescribed a mouth wash by his GP for the rotten teeth which were allegedly preventing him chewing his food properly and causing difficulties in swallowing.
As the adverts used to say in past days "Accept no substitute"
It seems to me that if the nurses are so concerned that they have "stepped out of line" so to speak and directly advised you to seek a second, more qualified opinion then you should do so. Are you afraid that your father will then be denied the excellent facilities at the multidisciplinary clinic because your doctor is involved there? I very much doubt that as neurologists usually refer patients to specialist nurses etc where they are available for the management of PD and I presume this would be the clinic you already are in contact with. Any doctor worth his/her salt accepts that patients may want a second opinion.
Dear Kelmac I was Dx 6 yrs ago by a neuro,I saw him a couple of times in about 5yrs. At 6 monthly checks saw a PD nurse or one of his team.It would take too long to go into detail, but I am know longer under a neurologist. I'm also under a consultant for movement disorder. I see him for my appointments and I can ring his secretary if I have any problems. I have no complaints so far.I hope this helps ANGEL4UX