Jun 21, 2013

New Website Offers Recipe for Successfully Managing Parkinson’s

University of Toronto Professor Galit Kleiner-Fisman and her team recently launched a unique website — Live Well With Parkinson’s — which features the information Parkinson’s patients need to avoid conflicts between diet and medication.

“For patients with Parkinson’s, knowledge is empowerment and it is crucial for being able to live well with the disease,” says Kleiner-Fisman, an assistant professor of medicine at U of T, neurologist at Baycrest, and medical director of the hospital’s Jeff and Diane Ross Movement Disorders Clinic.

“Unfortunately, many patients have some fundamental gaps in their knowledge about symptom management, resulting in poor symptom control.”

Kleiner-Fisman points to the drug Levodopa as an example. It’s one of the most commonly prescribed medication to control tremors, rigidity and slowness of movement. However, it can be less effective when it interacts with protein-rich foods.

“Some people taking the medication need to follow a protein redistribution diet,” she says. “They need to control what and when they eat. Avoiding nutritional mistakes can be very difficult because many patients don’t have all the facts about protein-rich foods.”

To create a website that offers a holistic recipe for success, Kleiner-Fisman enlisted the help of her team at the Assistive Technology Clinic and culinary students from George Brown’s Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt). Together, they developed recipes and meal plans to make following a protein redistribution diet simple, healthy and appetizing.

“When you have the correct information about Parkinson’s you can adapt rather than feel overwhelmed,” says Keith Goobie, a Parkinson’s patient in the Jeff and Diane Ross Movement Disorders Clinic. “The information I’ve received from Dr. Kleiner-Fisman has been empowering.  I hope this website will enable more people with Parkinson’s to benefit from the same level of empowerment.”

Visit livewellwithparkinsons.com to learn more.