News

Governor-General discusses Parkinson's disease with leading researchers


18 November 2010

(L-R) Sister Marilia Pereira, Associate Professor Sharon Naismith, Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Roger Norton, Dr Simon Lewis.
(L-R) Sister Marilia Pereira, Associate Professor Sharon Naismith, Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Roger Norton, Dr Simon Lewis.

Researchers from the Parkinson's Disease Research Clinic at the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) were thrilled to have the opportunity to explain some of their ongoing work with the Governor-General of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce AC on 16 November 2010.

Parkinson's disease (PD) currently costs the nation over $6 billion per annum and with an ageing population, there is a pressing need to address optimal management approaches for this debilitating neurodegenerative disease.

Dr Simon Lewis and Associate Professor Sharon Naismith from the BMRI, as well as Sister Marilia Pereira and Roger Norton from Parkinson's Australia, were invited to discuss a wide range of topics specifically those focussing on improving the quality of life of people living with PD.

Much attention was directed towards the role of community based specialist nurses to support both patients and their carers. The impact of this approach is currently being assessed by a Commonwealth Government supported pilot project conducted by the BMRI team in the Shoalhaven region of NSW.

Dr Simon Lewis, Director of the BMRI Parkinson's Disease Research Clinic said: "We are very confident that community based nurses will become an established resource in Australia and improve the quality of life for thousands of patients and their families. The Shoalhaven Project may represent the first step in the launch of a national network of specialist nurses serving regional and remote communities."

Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC was delighted to hear about the very positive advances being made in the field and looks set to be a firm supporter of future efforts in combating PD.


Media interviews: Dr Simon Lewis, 9515 7565, 0420 754 663, simonl@med.usyd.edu.au


Media enquiries: Rachel Gleeson, 0403 067 342, 9351 4312, rachel.gleeson@sydney.edu.au