Parkinson’s Expo returns with free educational program on March 25

Event open to patients, caregivers, and others in person or virtually

Lindsey Shapiro, PhD avatar

by Lindsey Shapiro, PhD |

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The sixth annual Parkinson’s Expo, a free and educational conference covering a range of topics related to Parkinson’s disease, is set for Saturday, March 25, in Palmetto, Florida and virtually.

Hosted by the Neuro Challenge Foundation and designed with input from the Parkinson’s community, the event is intended to “educate, engage, and empower” patients, caregivers, physicians, and others.

More than 1,400 people attended that first expo in 2018, the Florida-based foundation reports, making it the largest of its kind in the U.S.

Last year’s online-only event brought together more than 1,800 attendees from 42 U.S. states and 26 countries, most of whom were Parkinson’s patients, caregivers, and family members.

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Educational talks range from managing off periods to fatigue, pain and psychosis

This year, educational talks given by disease experts will be available for people who register as either in-person or virtual participants. Those at the event in person will receive an Expo Swag Bag, and volunteers are wanted to help with setting up and cleaning up the site.

Planned talks include “Getting the Most Out of your Neurologist Visit,” offering ways of developing a positive patient-doctor relationship to maximize the benefits of appointments. It will be presented by Maria De León, MD, a board-certified movement disorders specialist and neurologist.

Robert Hauser, MD, a neurology professor and director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the University of South Florida, also will talk about managing off episodes in Parkinson’s. These are periods when standard levodopa-based treatments stop being effective, and disease symptoms return before a next dose can be taken.

Hauser’s talk is sponsored by Supernus Pharmaceuticals, which markets Gocovri (amantadine), an approved oral therapy for off episodes in Parkinson’s. The company also is working for U.S. approval of SPN-830, an apomorphine infusion pump treatment for these episodes.

Other topics being addressed by practitioners in the field include sleep disturbances and fatigue, mental health and psychosis, managing hospitalizations, and care approaches to chronic pain.

Participants will also have opportunities to connect with resources and engage with others in the Parkinson’s community. An exhibit hall — available both on-site and virtually — allows participants to engage with event sponsors and community resource partners.

Sponsorships by Supernus and others allow the event’s registration to come at no cost.

Donations and sponsorships also help to support other Neuro Challenge Foundation efforts, including monthly educational and therapeutic programs, individualized care advice, and semi-annual events, all offered at no charge to the more than 3,000 people who use them each year.

Recorded presentations from last year’s Parkinson’s Expo and additional resources are available on the event’s webpage.