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Distance Learning: Parkinson's Disease: Delivering a Diagnosis with a Dose of Hope

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Lawrence Elmer, M.D., Ph.D.
Jacobson Center for Clinical and Translational Research
University of Toledo Medical Center

Statewide AHEC Network Program Office
National Parkison Foundation

Session Description:
The first steps you take after diagnosing a serious illness like Parkinson’s disease (PD) not only will establish how patients deal with this new reality, but will also affect your relationship with your patients as you guide them through the early stages of the disease.

PD is typically diagnosed in largely healthy patients, and the diagnosis itself may initially have a greater impact than the disease. Because of its slow progression, many patients are first seen in primary care and it is up to the non-specialist to establish a diagnosis or refer on to a neurologist.

Dr. Elmer’s background as a clinical neurologist and PD researcher has provided him with extensive experience in treating PD patients in all stages. Dr. Elmer frequently works with televised media news programs to educate the public on symptoms and treatments for PD and has a particular interest in early Parkinson’s disease.

Giving accurate information and anticipating patient’s questions at the outset can help set a positive tone for the ongoing care relationship. Participants in this seminar will hear about options on how to deliver a diagnosis of Parkinson’s and address initial patient concerns.

Session Objectives:
Participants in this webinar will be able to:

  1. Understand, anticipate, and respond to common patient reactions to a diagnosis of PD
  2. Discuss current issues in the pathophysiology of PD
  3. Review the rationale for polypharmacy approaches to PD
  4. Describe promising approaches to long-term management of PD

Technology Requirements:
Participants registering for programs should have access to the following technology for best viewing and participation:

  • Personal computer with Macintosh or Windows with 512 MB of RAM
  • Broadband internet connection such as an office LAN, DSL, or cable modem
  • Phone next to personal computer (or speaker phone if multiple people are viewing)
  • Computer speakers (built-in or attached)
  • Latest version of Adobe Flash which can be downloaded for free at

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine and the Georgia Statewide Area Health Education Centers. The Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education to physicians.

The Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.