patients

More Than Meets the Eye: Non-motor Symptoms in Young-onset Parkinson’s Disease

Most people think of Parkinson’s disease (PD) as a condition of aging, and most of the time they’re right. Looking at the population as a whole, about 1-2% of people over the age of 65 have PD, and it’s usually a condition that is most severe in patients in their 70’s and 80’s. However, about 10% of patients buck this trend and experience their first symptoms before the age of 40; these patients are known as Young-Onset PD or YOPD for short. The R&D team here at PatientsLikeMe recently carried out a research study examining an aspect of PD that has only recently gained much attention, “non-motor symptoms.” When a clinician diagnoses PD, they are usually looking for a triad of cardinal features, specifically tremor, slowness, and stiffness. However, in the past 5-10 years it has been increasingly clear that patients with PD also experience a number of non-motor symptoms, ranging from dizziness to constipation, from a loss of sense of smell to hallucinations, and from apathy to urinary problems. Several of our members had mentioned in forum postings that they were finding non-motor symptoms, such as cognitive confusion and fatigue, to be a particular burden, so we decided to …

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PatientsLikeMe Featured in New York Times Magazine

In one of the greatest honors in our young company to date, PatientsLikeMe was featured in today’s New York Times Magazine. The article, entitled Practicing Patients, appropriately discusses the pros and cons associated with sharing data-rich personal health information in an open community. PatientsLikeMe seeks to go a mile deeper than health-information sites like WebMD or online support groups like Daily Strength. The members of PatientsLikeMe don’t just share their experiences anecdotally; they quantify them, breaking down their symptoms and treatments into hard data. They note what hurts, where and for how long. They list their drugs and dosages and score how well they alleviate their symptoms. All this gets compiled over time, aggregated and crunched into tidy bar graphs and progress curves by the software behind the site. And it’s all open for comparison and analysis. By telling so much, the members of PatientsLikeMe are creating a rich database of disease treatment and patient experience. With amazing patient successes balanced by medical leaders’ skepticism, author Thomas Goetz strikes a critical chord within the current healthcare debate. Is the American health system broken? Can patients fix it through aggregation of collective experience? Are patients to be trusted to report their …

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Patients showcase PatientsLikeMe to their local support group

Our members are very enthusiastic about the value generated by sharing their information. So much so that recently two of our members decided to don their hard-earned PatientsLikeMe t-shirts and share their experiences using PatientsLikeMe with their local MS support group. They recruited several new members at the meeting and gave more information about PatientsLikeMe to everyone. Our members believe that the more information we share, the easier it will be for patients and doctors to see what’s working for others and for scientists to use the data to develop new treatments faster. This is a great example of patients helping other patients and we love seeing our members share, online and in real-life. Thanks!

PatientsLikeMe Receives Its First Scientific Award

PatientsLikeMe, the leading treatment and outcomes sharing website for people with life-changing diseases, is proud to announce its first scientific poster award. Today, at the 20th anniversary meeting of the British Neuropsychiatry Association (BNPA), Dr. Paul Wicks, resident researcher at PatientsLikeMe.com received the Association’s first prize for the best poster presentation, entitled “Telesocial medicine for neurological disorders: PatientsLikeMe.com”. “This is the first time that PatientsLikeMe.com has been formally presented at an academic conference and it’s great that the site has received the recognition it deserves,” says Dr. Wicks. “Over the two days of the conference I’ve spoken to neurologists, psychiatrists, and patients, all of whom were enthusiastic about the concept and interested in the development of the site as it branches out to include conditions as diverse as ALS/MND, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.” The poster illustrates the power of PatientsLikeMe and how it can help patients with neurological disorders take control of their diseases and improve their understanding and knowledge of treatments.

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