Dr Alan Whone and Lucy Mooney, Director and Deputy-Director of the Parkinson's and Other Movement Disorders Health Integration Team (MOVE HIT), give an update on the HIT's progress in 2018-19.
MOVE HIT works to improve quality of life for people with Parkinson's and other movement disorders in the Bristol area. Our work also aims to have international impact.
Raising awareness has been an important theme of our work this year. We were pleased that ‘The Parkinson’s Drug Trial: A Miracle Cure?’ aired on BBC2, to tell the story of the GDNF trial. This coincided with the long-awaited release of results from the trial. While there were some encouraging signs of improvements in those receiving GDNF, disappointingly there was no significant difference between the active treatment group and those who received a placebo. However, there were promising effects observed on participants’ damaged brain cells. It's important we find ways to continue exploring this treatment further – GDNF has the potential to improve the lives of people with Parkinson's.
On 14 April 2018, we ran an event in Parkinson’s Awareness Week to show the full range of support available to help people with movement disorders stay active. This event organised and run by members of our PPI Group involved demonstrations of non-contact boxing, physio classes, and adverts for social sessions. In January 2019, we ran a research showcase for patients and those close to them. Local researchers explored hot topics in research that our patient group wanted to see covered. Over 100 people with movement disorders and those close to them attended. There was excellent feedback and lots of interest in joining future trials.
Our Advanced Treatment Service has had another busy year, with the second highest number of new Duodopa cases being seen of any centre in UK. To provide high quality support to these patients and those close to them, we ran peer support groups. These sessions will create guides for patients and those close to them, written by the people with direct experience of receiving the treatment. We’re looking forward to extending this innovative model to our Deep Brain Stimulation service this year. It was gratifying to publish the interactive pathway for our Duodopa service. Again, we’ll be following this example for other services in the coming year.
We’ve been pleased to see that our PPI Group’s ideas for research have been turned into completed small pilot studies in collaboration with UWE students. The group remains at the heart of the HIT and we’re excited about working together on their plans for next year.