The Fox Focus Fall/Winter 2017 - Page 16

Living with Parkinson’s Dr. Dolhun Talks PD Dr. Dolhun Talks with Rachel Dolhun, MD, is a movement disorder specialist, board-certified neurologist and vice president of medical communications at MJFF. Being open about life with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be challenging, even for someone as bold as Margaret Bourke-White, a World War II photojournalist who was the first woman accredited to cover combat zones. In 1959, LIFE Magazine chronicled her journey with young- onset Parkinson’s disease through her pictures and firsthand account. Almost sixty years later, we don’t yet have a cure, but treatment options have significantly progressed, our understanding of the disease continues to expand, and technology enables patients to play a critical role in speeding research breakthroughs. Recently, I spoke with about what has (and hasn’t) changed in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease since Margaret shared her story. DIAGNOSIS In a story that may be familiar to many patients and families, it took Margaret several years and many doctors’ visits to learn she had PD. Without an 16 The Fox Focus objective way (such as a blood test or brain scan) to diagnose Parkinson’s, doctors rely on medical history and a physical examination. This can lead to missed or delayed diagnoses. Today, the need for an objective measure, or “biomarker,” in PD still exists. But we are moving closer, and the