New Pump Can Give Parkinson's Patients A Pill-Free Life

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Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

Office: (913) 588-7284

Cell: (913)-481-7329


            For decades, the standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease patients has been a medicine called carbidopa/levodopa, taken in a pill, to combat movement disorder symptoms of the disease. But over time, a patient must take the medicine more often during the day to keep the symptoms under control as its effectiveness wears off quicker.

            But a new pump is allowing Parkinson’s patients to go pill-free. It administers the drug in even doses throughout the day. Doctors call it the biggest breakthrough for Parkinson’s patients in 20 years.

            The video includes sound from Dr. Raj Pahwa, director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center at The University of Kansas Hospital. He discusses why the pump is a breakthrough, how the medicine works and what causes Parkinson’s disease.

Also included is sound from the third patient in the country to receive the new pump, Frankie Sumners from Westmoreland, Kansas. She talks about when she first noticed Parkinson’s symptoms, the problems with the standard medication, what the pump has done for her, and how she feels about being the third person in the country to get the pump.

 Video also includes close up shots of the pump, an office visit with the patient and Dr. Pahwa and operating room video of tubing for the pump being implanted.