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Neurologists crucial to Parkinson's treatment

15 August 2011 - 6:19pm

People living with Parkinson's disease may enjoy a longer life if they receive regular treatment by a neurologist.

This is according to the findings of a new study from Washington University researcher Allison Wright Willis, as published in the journal Neurology.

Patients who received treatment at the hands of a neurologist had a lower adjusted likelihood of death.

Other interesting results were lower risks of hip fractures and a decrease in the number of patients needing to be admitted to a skilled nursing facility.

The study also showed that women are 22 per cent less likely to obtain specialist care compared to men.

Researchers looked at 138,000 cases of Parkinson's disease and noted that only 58 per cent of those afflicted were seeing a neurologist.

In addition to increasing the chances of survival through regular care, Dr Willis believes that neurologists are the best equipped specialists to treat the disease and its side effects.

Willis says: "There are ways that we can help improve the lives of people with Parkinson's disease beyond discovering a cure and beyond discovering the cause."

Regular consultation with a neurologist can be covered by Medicare as an out of hospital expense.

However, those concerned about being covered for treatment of serious illness and disease in-hospital should take out private health cover.