“Duodopa can be particularly effective for patients whose medication is wearing off or who are experiencing other fluctuations from levodopa,” Suliana said.
“It’s also helpful for patients with gastroparesis who are not digesting much of their Parkinson’s medications and can reduce motor fluctuations such as dyskinesias.
“There is unfortunately no cure for Parkinson’s but this treatment can allow those patients who receive it to live better with their condition, reduce their symptoms, and hopefully maintain some degree of independence too.”
The clinic, which is located in the Outpatients Department of the hospital, is staffed by Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse Suliana and a rota of four neurologists, led by Head of Neurology Dr Omar Ahmad.
In its first year of operation, the once-a-fortnight clinic saw 50 new patients, including 68 neurologist follow-ups. Nurse Suliana also undertook about 100 nurse in-patient consultations over those 12 months and three patients commenced on apomorphine therapy.
Previously, patients awaiting a diagnosis or needing follow-up treatment for Parkinson’s would need to wait to attend the clinic at Royal North Shore Hospital or attend a private clinic.
The clinic can diagnose Parkinson’s disease in new patients, conduct physical examinations, check medications and update treatment plans.
It complements the existing Parkinson’s rehabilitation clinic, which is available at the Hornsby hospital.