Did you know that as many as 1 in 4 people who have Parkinson’s Disease are misdiagnosed? Even worse, those with the disease may have seen a doctor three or more times before receiving an accurate diagnosis. Too often it’s diagnosed as Alzheimer’s in older patients. We all need to be aware of this, for ourselves and those around us.
In this episode, our guest expert, Dr. Michael Okun, is a leading expert in the research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease (bio details at the end of these show notes).
Dr. Okun has a unique way of working with patients and lives by the mantra that “the medical profession should look at the patient as the sun: everything done to help patients should revolve around their needs, just like our entire solar system revolved around our sun.” This goes for doctors, hospitals, caregivers, therapists, families, and all their entire teams. He further states: “if we all work this way with each and every patient, then our abilities to work towards a cure and build a better quality of life for that person will prevail.” He believes that the greatest indicator of success is not how much money one raises for a cure, but how many lives can we all save!
You’ll find this discussion is rich with words of wisdom and advice for patients, families, caregivers, and everyone in the medical and healthcare community. Some (maybe) startling points worth noting include:
- What chemical is directly linked to Parkinson’s and why is it banned in Europe but not here in the US.
- Why Alzheimer’s is the most common neurological disease, yet Parkinson’s is the fastest growing.
- How diet is now one of the “hottest” areas of research and how microbiomes may impact our potential to acquire Parkinson’s.
He shares the difference between the early symptoms of Parkinson’s vs. Alzheimer’s and why it’s more frequently misdiagnosed and mistreated. Including:
- How to better identify symptoms
- What type of doctors often misdiagnose Parkinson’s vs others
- How medical professionals lose their ability to be more observant
- Why it’s misdiagnosed
Some other points we discuss include :
- Different symptoms of Parkinson’s vs Alzheimer’s.
- Why it could be a blessing to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s over Alzheimer’s or other diseases.
- How to help with the emotional response when first diagnosed.
- What happens when doctors don’t listen and respond instead to time pressures placed on them when seeing patients.
- Some key failure points in our healthcare system and what we might do to respond.
- The importance of finding the right doctor and when to move on to the next.
Do listen to the full episode as this one is rich beyond expectations! Tune in and share with your family and friends.
Additional links of value:
- Dr Michael Okun
- Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases
- UF Health, Movement Disorders & Neruorestoration Program
- Book: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life: Parkinson's Treatment
- Book: Ask the Doctor about Parkinson's Disease
- Book: Ending Parkinson's Disease
- YouTube: Dr. Michael Okun on 10 Secrets to a Happier Life
- Article of interest: Pramipexole, Citalopram Effective Therapies for Depression in Parkinson's Disease
Guest: Dr. Michael Okun, is a neurologist, neuroscientist, and author. He is the co-founder and director of the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at the University of Florida and is the chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Florida (2015-current) and the Medical Director/Advisor for the Parkinson’s Foundation (2006-current). He is best known for his work in translating physiological principles underpinning human diseases, such as Tourette syndrome, tremor and Parkinson's into real-world therapies. He received his M.D. with honors from the University of Florida. For more details about Dr Okun's work and practice please go to this link. Dr. Michael Okun Bio
Host: Nancy May, Author of How to Survive 911 Medical Emergencies, Step-by-Step Before, During, After! is an acknowledged expert in managing the path of step-by-step caring for aging parents, even from over 1200 miles away. For a free, fillable File-of-Life go to www.howtosurvive911.com. Nancy is also the Co-Founder of CareManity LLC, and the private FaceBook group, Eldercare Success.
Disclaimer: The views, perspectives, and opinions expressed in this show are those of the show guests and not directly those of the companies they serve or that of the host or the producer CareManity, LLC. The information discussed should not be considered or used as medical, legal, or financial advice. Please seek the advice of your own personal medical, legal or financial advisors as each person’s situation is different. (c) Copyright 2022 CareManity, LLC all rights reserved.
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