2022 - Year in Review

Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital’s Neurology Parkinson’s Clinic is going from strength to strength. The clinic, which marked its first year of operation in May, initiated its first course of the Duodopa treatment to a patient with advanced Parkinson’s disease. Aimed at assisting patients with advanced cases of the condition which severely impairs the nervous system, Duodopa can help Parkinson’s patients absorb essential medication which in turn can help alleviate their symptoms. Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Consultant Suliana Manuofetoa said the treatment was a welcome addition to existing patient services. “The Hornsby Ku-ring-gai region has the largest population of people living with Parkinson’s in NSW,” she said. “Offering this therapy treatment is an exciting development for us. “It can be an effective treatment for patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease and allows both them and their carers to have a better quality of life, which is hugely important.” New treatment helping Parkinson’s patients at Hornsby

Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Consultant, Suliana Manuofetoa

The two-stage treatment process is a complex therapy only currently performed in select centres. It helps deliver levodopa- carbidopa — medication for Parkinson’s — in the form of intestinal gel into the patient’s small bowel via a jejunal tube. The medication is then rapidly absorbed into the brain. Patients are provided their own Duodopa pump connected to their jejunal tube which they can carry around with them, delivering a continuous infusion of Duodopa. “There is unfortunately no cure for Parkinson’s but this treatment can allow patients to live better with their condition, reduce their symptoms, and hopefully maintain some degree of independence too,” she said. “Duodopa can be particularly effective for patients whose medication is wearing off or

who are experiencing other fluctuations from levodopa. “It’s also helpful for patients with gastroparesis who are not digesting much of their Parkinson’s medications and can reduce motor fluctuations such as dyskinesias.” The clinic, which is located in the Outpatients Department of the hospital, is staffed by Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse Suliana and a rota of four neurologists, led by Head of Neurology, Dr Omar Ahmad. In its first year of operation, the once-a-fortnight clinic saw 50 new patients, including 68 neurologist follow-ups. Suliana also undertook about 100 nurse in-patient consultations over those 12 months and three patients commenced on apomorphine therapy.

48 NSLHD 2022 Year in Review

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