Recent epidemiological observations have drawn attention to the rapid rise in the burden caused by Parkinson's disease over the past years, emphasizing that Parkinson's disease is a matter of serious concern for our future generations. A recent report by Public Health England corroborates this message, by providing new insight on trends in deaths associated with neurological diseases in England between 2001 to 2014. The report indicates that mortality associated with Parkinson's disease and related disorders increased substantially between 2001 and 2014. This trend is partially explained by increased longevity in the population. However, it is possible that changes in exposure to risk factors, recent improvements in multidisciplinary care (leading to prolonged survival), and improved diagnostic awareness or improved registration also influenced the observed trend. Furthermore, patients with Parkinson's disease and related disorders were found to die at an advanced age, and the majority die in a care home or hospital, despite a preponderant preference for many patients and their families to spend their last days at home. To combat these concerning observations, future efforts should be focused on providing resources for vulnerable elderly Parkinson patients, avoiding unplanned hospital admissions and out-of-home deaths as much as possible. Possible solutions include a community-based network of specifically trained allied health therapists, personal case managers for Parkinson patients, dedicated Parkinson nursing homes, and improved centralised support services from university clinics to regional community hospitals aimed at facilitating optimal wide-scale care delivery.

Additional Metadata
Keywords epidemiology, mortality, Parkinson’s disease, trends
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3233/JPD-181374, hdl.handle.net/1765/111472
Journal Journal of Parkinson's Disease
Citation
Darweesh, S.K.L, Raphael, K.G. (Karen G.), Brundin, P. (Patrik), Matthews, H. (Helen), Wyse, R.K. (Richard K.), Chen, H. (Honglei), & Bloem, B.R. (2018). Parkinson Matters. Journal of Parkinson's Disease, 8(4), 495–498. doi:10.3233/JPD-181374