A Bold Prescription to End a Silent Pandemic—Parkinson’s Disease

November 29, 2021
Hosted by Ron Roel

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Episode Description

We are in the midst of a Parkison’s pandemic—and yet, this pandemic is a relatively silent one. Parkinson’s is the world’s fastest growing neurological disorder, increasing in virtually every region in the world. In the U.S. alone, the economic cost of the diseases exceeds $50 billion a year—a staggering $50,000 per person with the disease. In today’s episode, we talk with Dr. Ray Dorsey, Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and co-author of a thought-provoking new book, “Ending Parkinson’s Disease: A Prescription for Action.” As one of four leading physicians who co-author this book, Dr. Dorsey calls for a bold, comprehensive approach to help end Parkinson’s called PACT, which stands for Prevent. Advocate for, Care, and Treat the disease. He will talk about the most promising treatments on the horizon, from immune therapies to vaccines, surgical treatments, and new developments in nutrition and microbiome research. He’ll discuss the troubling use of pesticides and toxic chemicals linked to the disease, which particularly affect farmers, veterans, and high-tech manufacturing workers, as well as the rest of us. Dr. Dorsey will also outline some of the latest advances in care, including the dramatic increase in the use of telemedicine to treat Parkinson's patients. And he will examine the lessons learned from other health crises, from polio to AIDS and COVID-19—and how we might apply them to this pandemic. And finally, he will give us an action plan for what the average citizen can do right now to help end Parkinson’s. “Parkinson’s disease is not an inevitable disease that happens with age,” he notes. “It is a preventable disease, and we need to get around to preventing people from developing it in the first place.”

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Ron Roel

Ron Roel

I’m a veteran journalist who spent a wide-ranging career covering business, politics and social issues, the last two decades focusing on the blend of diverse life skills I call successful aging.

I have written extensively on aging topics, spoken at conferences, radio and TV shows, and launched several entrepreneurial ventures, discovering along the way that the path to aging well also requires an unexpected entrepreneurial vision. I spent 20 years as a writer and editor at Long Island’s daily newspaper, Newsday, helping to found Act 2, a weekly section for 50-plus readers. I created Roelresources.com, a website offering practical advice and inspirational essays for people ages 40 and above. I have been a volunteer and consultant to AARP Long Island, writing articles, advocating for seniors, and developing action plans for the AARP Age-Friendly Communities initiative.

I am active in programs and organizations that support seniors, such as the National Aging In Place Council and the Senior Umbrella Network. I have developed a special expertise in family caregiving, as one of four brothers who took care of their mother for almost 25 years. I regularly collaborate with many professionals who provide services and support for older Americans, and I am completing a book for caregivers on Long Island, “The Caregiving Navigator/How to Plan, What to do, and Where to Turn When Caring for you Aging Loved Ones. And Yourself,” scheduled for publication in early 2021.

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