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Study Suggests Seeing a Neurologist Helps People with Parkinson’s Live Longer

People with Parkinson’s disease who go to a neurologist for their care live longer

 

People with Parkinson’s disease who go to a neurologist for their care are more likely to live longer, less likely to be placed in a nursing home and less likely to break a hip than people who go to a primary care physician, according to a study published online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

The study also found that women and minorities were less likely to see a neurologist than men and Caucasians, even after adjusting for factors such as age, socioeconomic status and other health conditions.

“If these findings are confirmed in future studies, they will have important policy implications,” said James F. Burke, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, who wrote an editorial about the study. “Disparities in access to care should become a pressing priority if these limits to access are associated with worse outcomes. Policy changes could focus on improving access to neurologists or on improving the knowledge and care given by primary care physicians.”

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