Govt hopes to launch Parkinson’s treatment at public hospital this year

2023-04-11 03:21     BY Ginnie Liang    Comment:1

The Health Bureau (SSM) announced in a statement yesterday that it hopes a Parkinson’s disease surgical treatment programme can be launched at the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre this year.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after dementia, which is mainly caused by the reduction of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in the brain, according to the statement.

Ho In Chao, a consultant neurosurgery doctor at the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, said that Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is one of the treatment options for Parkinson’s disease, which is an electrical stimulation instead of partial drug treatment.

Ho said that this procedure is still not available in Macau, and some patients are being treated outside Macau, adding that after the DBS treatment is launched, free surgery will be offered to those who meet the criteria, but the final decision will be made by the Health Bureau.

Lai Si Ian, senior nurse of the neurosurgery unit at the public hospital, said that patients may feel mild tremors or have difficulty getting up from a chair in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, adding that friends or family members are the first to notice changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Therefore, Lai said, it is believed that through health promotion, the public can become more aware of Parkinson’s disease, so that family members or caregivers can recognise it early, and the illness can be “detected, diagnosed and treated early”.

The statement said that the bureau also continues to provide patients, their families and carers with information on the disease and medication precautions, such as gait and balance training to enhance patients’ muscle strength, balance, and cognitive activities, so as to promote brain training to slow down the decline of brain tissue.

In addition, the statement said, the bureau conducts ongoing training for patients and their families to teach home safety precautions and fall prevention skills, as well as psychological support and caregiver stress management, with the aim of creating a caring community where patients can enjoy better care.

Today is World Parkinson’s Disease Day, which  was designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1997 on April 11 each year to commemorate James Parkinson, a British doctor who first described the characteristics of shaking palsy in 1817, and to raise awareness of the disease, support sufferers and offer help to their families. 

This photo provided by the Health Bureau (SSM) yesterday shows health care staff teaching patients how to do leg lifts.
– Photo by SSM

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