Region's hospital becomes first in England to adminster revoluntionary treatment for Parkinson's - The Rugby Observer

Region's hospital becomes first in England to adminster revoluntionary treatment for Parkinson's

Rugby Editorial 27th May, 2024   0

A REVOLUTIONARY new treatment for Parkinson’s Disease has been administered for the first time in the country at University Hospital Coventry.

Seamus Connolly, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s following a medical examination in 2013, became the first outpatient in England to receive the new drug ProDuodopa at the hospital.

The drug was recently approved for use in the NHS and uses a small automatic pump to continuously release medicine into the bloodstream via a cannula. Seamus said: “I used to have to think about everything – where I went, if I could make it home. But now I have confidence and hope for the future.

“The immediate difference is that I don’t have to take lots of tablets throughout the day, just a few in the morning. I then change the syringe and I’m good to go.”

Seamus’ wife Maria has been by his side for the past 37 years and is optimistic about the new treatment.

She said: “Since starting ProDuodopa, Seamus has better control of his movements and is enjoying interacting more with his family and friends.

“We have four grown-up sons. For them, it feels like they’ve got their dad back, and for me, it feels like my husband is back.”

The portable drug infusion ensures a gradual release of medication, resulting in greater symptom management. Patients can also administer an additional dose when needed, offering greater personal control over the condition.

For several years Seamus took a large number of tablets to manage his symptoms. This resulted in a morning ‘peak’ before gradually declining throughout the day.

“The tablets were working to start with but, as time went on, they started to wear off,” he explained.

Throughout his treatment, Seamus has been in the hands of the Parkinson’s team at UHCW NHS Trust.

“They’re not just looking after you, they care. It’s clear that, to them, it’s not just a job,” said Seamus.

Lara Teare, Consultant Neurologist at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW), said: “It’s exciting to be able to offer this therapy to our patients with complex Parkinson’s disease.

“The team worked very quickly once we knew ProDuodopa would be available in the UK and it’s an honour to be the first centre in England to start this therapy in an outpatient setting. We plan to be able to offer ProDuodopa to other patients from our region very soon.”

As ProDuodopa continues to be rolled out across the country, it is expected that nearly 1,000 patients may be eligible for the new treatment.

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