Using the PKG® - a patient story
For ten days every three months, 63 year old Hector Bugeja wears a device that subtly notes his inclusion in a club nobody wants to join.
The device is a discrete, cutting edge, wrist worn technology called the PKG® (or Parkinson’s KinetiGraph™).
After 10 years, Hector still remembers the shock of diagnosis, following weeks of niggling symptoms.
His wife, Sue, a former neurology nurse, was attuned to such changes, however Hector initially scoffed at her concerns.
“I was in denial really,” he says. “From the day I was told ‘You have Parkinson’s’, my life totally changed.” Reeling from the diagnosis, Hector now recognises he had an important stroke of luck – his general practitioner referred him to highly respected neurologist Professor Mal Horne, a co-inventor of the Parkinson’s KinetiGraph, or PKG®, technology.
With encouragement from Professor Horne, Hector agreed to wear the PKG device for 10 vital days every 3 months. On these days, this sophisticated technology senses and records every slight symptom or movement his body makes. This information is accurately captured and recorded, and then a report of this detail is available for his doctor prior to each quarterly appointment.
The PKG report enables the doctor to see a number of parameters of Parkinson’s that can assist in better managing the condition, including movement symptoms, their severity and precise timing. Additionally, response to, and compliance with medication is assessed. The device also records periods of daytime sleep.
Armed with this valuable clinical information, specialists are able to accurately determine how a patient’s treatment is working, and assist them to make more informed decisions.
Hector says, “For me, the biggest advantage of the PKG is that it has made me much more conscious of when I should take my medications, and given me a better understanding of the progression of the disease because I can see it on the report. It has made me more rigid in my medication adherence. I used to forget about it or put it off for a short time and that is something you can’t do with Parkinson’s.”
These days, Hector remains determined to live a full and active life, bushwalking, cycling and playing tennis, with medication and deep brain stimulation techniques being employed to keep his most harrowing Parkinson’s symptoms at bay. He also acknowledges the support of his family as he meets the daily challenges presented by Parkinson’s.
He says simply, “If you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you have now got a far better chance (of living a good life) with the PKG. Thank goodness I am living today – even 10 years ago, I would not have had this device to help improve my life.”
For more information about the PKG, please speak to your doctor