New Mount Sinai Support Groups Will Address the Needs of Parkinson's and Dystonia Patients and Their Caregivers

Mount Sinai launches four new support groups to assist patients with Parkinson's disease and dystonia. Topics of discussion will include nutrition, new therapies, and caregiver needs.

New York, NY
 – January 5, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Patients with movement disorder have a new path to assistance as The Mount Sinai Medical Center launches four new support groups for patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. Support groups are also open to people who are caregivers to these patients.

The groups compliment what is already an internationally recognized center of excellence for the treatment of movement disorders, the Robert and John M. Bendheim Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center, which sees over 1,500 patients annually and is designated a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence

To have the ideal center you need three things; medical care, research, and outreach, said Michele Tagliati, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology and Division Chief of Movement Disorders at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. "We’ve established one of the largest programs for Parkinson’s disease and dystonia in the northeast in terms of medical treatment and being at the forefront of developing new therapies. With these four support groups, we now have that final piece of the puzzle."

The groups will meet for two hours every other month, feature guest speakers and focus on topics including Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), diet and vitamins, sleep basics, exercise, and research updates. The "Parkinson’s Open Forum" and the "Dystonia Open Forum" groups are general sessions that anyone can attend. The "Early Stage/ Newly Diagnosed Parkinson's Group" and the "Parkinson’s Caregiver Support Group" are available as special sessions for people in those specific categories.

Parkinson’s and other progressive neurological disorders affect many body systems and the issue of managing care becomes more and more difficult as the disease progresses, said Dr. Tagliati. "These support groups provide an excellent opportunity to let our patients and caregivers know about all of the resources that Mount Sinai has to offer – from neurologists and speech therapists to psychiatrists and rehab specialists. It’s important to not just give a patient the information and send them on their way. The goal is to create a community within an all-inclusive, multidisciplinary institute."

The sessions were designed by Karyn Lee Boyar, FNP, Clinical and Outreach Coordinator for the Bendheim Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center, who said she came to Mount Sinai specifically to coordinate a comprehensive patient and community outreach program. For nearly a decade before, she had worked in clinical care and management for patients with Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. 

By promoting these outreach initiatives, we’re creating an opportunity for emotional support through education, practical information and networking, not just for patients, but for the family members and caregivers who are often neglected when only patient care is considered, said Ms. Boyar.

For further information about the support groups, patients and their caregivers can contact Karyn Boyar at (212) 241-2477 or by email at karyn.boyar@mssm.edu.

About the Robert and John M. Bendheim Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center
One of the world’s leading multidisciplinary centers for the study of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, the Robert and John M. Bendheim Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center serves as a forum for collaboration among internationally acclaimed neuroscientists. The Center offers state-of-the-art clinical care, translational research, and basic science programs aimed at discovering cures for Parkinson’s, dystonia, and other movement disorders. The Center employs deep brain stimulation (DBS) in one of the largest such programs in the country.  The Center also plays a major role in evaluating cell-based and gene therapies for the treatment of movement disorders.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic-science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants.