Parkinson’s Disease an ongoing neurological disorder and has different stages. Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease often experience variability in their symptoms and in the effectiveness of their medication. In order to address these fluctuations, there is a need to develop methods that will enable clinicians and researchers to monitor symptom severity over long periods of time in patient’s home environment while they are performing their daily activities.
If one gets to know accurately how the disease progresses, then tracking it and preparing for further steps becomes clear and easier too.
There is an increasing demand of reliable methods to find out the stage and the accuracy of progression of Parkinson’s disease. The several methods through which the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be measured are:
Different Methods to Monitor Your Parkinson’s
1. Diary Method
A diary is an effective way of letting your doctor know what problems you’re experiencing, the changes in your condition from day to day or over a period of time and how well your medication is controlling your symptoms. It can also help remind you of things you want to discuss during your appointment that you may otherwise forget. If you are applying for welfare benefits, a diary can be very useful. Keeping a record of how your condition affects you will be helpful if you are asked to explain this on a benefits claim form.
2. Smart Phone Tracker Applications
You can get the best way to monitor the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease right in your pocket, by simply downloading mobile applications like CLOUDUPDRS, Point of Care, 9zest Parkinson’s therapy and DAF professional. With the help of these applications you can track, understand, get updated new and have personalized opinion on various aspects related to the disease.
3. Meditation Tracker
Meditation is one of the best things to do for a good and healthy life. But it can help a Parkinson’s disease patient track the progression of stages too as a compliment to what it already does. All you need to do is to set tracker with a notepad along side when you meditate. During the intervals of your focusing and meditation, record the number of involuntary motor movements. The ratio between even a week long records can help you track your progression.
4. Attempt Regular Questionnaires
There are many questionnaires and quick Q&A to help you identify as well as monitor your Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. There are exercises based on various aspects that you can perform online through these questionnaires which in the end try to analyze the current stage as well the progression based on the previous records.
5. MDS-UPDRS Scales
One of the majorly used methods is the MDS (Movement Disorder Society)-UPDRS (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale). It is an assessment conducted in accordance of the universal scale set by the MDS for understanding the stages and complications related to Parkinson’s Disease. The assessment is composed of 50 questions. Some parts are completed by the patients while some are attempted by a qualified clinician. Each question is rated from 0 (normal) to 4 (severe). The added total of all the individual scores gives an analysis of the severity of the condition.
6. Observational Measurement
This method requires both the patient and a close relative or qualified clinician to perform. Parkinson’s Disease progressions increase through changes within as well as outside the body. The essential tremors, time required for the medication to take effect, duration of the medication effectiveness as well as the required dosage to provide the same effect over the period of time provides an appropriate measurement of how the disease is progressing. Though, it is tough to judge the progression through this method objectively, the main observation lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Researchers and medical experts are still working hard to find a concrete way to monitor Parkinson’s symptoms as well as progressions. But the nature of the disease is so unpredictable that one method does not suffice for all the patients. So, it is better to adopt more than one method to monitor Parkinson’s Disease symptoms effectively.
Please consult your neurologist/Parkinson specialist for the best method for tracking the disease. The methods mentioned here are for guidance and we have no involvement/relationships with these applications.