News Release

Monday, June 18, 2012
Media Contact: Elizabeth Laur, (414) 276-2145,
MDS Press Room: Convention Centre Dublin, Wicklow Meeting Room 2b, Level 2

Note to media: See Late Breaking Abstract 24

Telemedicine is beneficial for patients with Parkinson's disease

DUBLIN – A recent study investigating the use of Web-based videoconferencing to provide specialty care to patients with Parkinson disease was presented today at the 16th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders.

The study, led by Vinayak Venkataraman of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore shows Web-based videoconferencing to be feasible in providing care to patients with PD without leaving their homes.

Twenty patients were enrolled across two academic sites in this seven-month comparative effectiveness study. On average, these patients live 50 miles from their specialists’ clinics and already had existing computer, high-speed Internet, and Web-camera capabilities. Patients were randomized to either continue their usual in-person care with a specialist or to receive care with their specialist via telemedicine in their homes. The results of the study show that on average, patients saved approximately 100 minutes of time and 100 miles of transportation by using videoconferencing versus a visit to the specialist in their clinic.

Klaus Seppi, MD, of Medical University Innsbruck, Austria supports these findings by stating, “Meeting the specialist via telemedicine has the potential to improve a person's ability to receive care, especially for persons residing outside urban centers or in nursing home facilities. Recent anecdotal reports in patients with Parkinson's disease indicate that specialty care delivered via telemedicine may be feasible in controlled environments, such as nursing homes and may provide clinical benefits. The study by Venkataraman suggests that Web-based videoconferencing appears to be feasible in providing care to patients with PD in their homes. On average, meeting the specialist via telemedicine saved patients 100 minutes of time and 100 miles of transportation. If telemedicine is also effective and of economic benefit, is of great interest and will be worth investigating."

About the 16th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Meeting attendees are gathered to learn the latest research findings and state-of-the-art treatment options in Movement Disorders, including Parkinson's disease. More than 4,500 physicians and medical professionals from 80 countries will be able to view over 1,600 scientific abstracts submitted by clinicians from around the world.

About The Movement Disorder Society
The Movement Disorder Society, an international society of over 3,500 clinicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. For more information about The Movement Disorder Society, visit