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Triathlon triumph over Parkinson’s disease

A triathlon is not something you’d expect to be able to take on with Parkinson’s disease.

Yet physical triumphs like this are now possible for people like Andrew Lindsay, thanks to improving treatments.

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016, Andrew says his symptoms had become very difficult to manage by 2021.

Andrew said: ‘I was taking medication every 3 hours to get relief from the symptoms of stiffness and muscle pain, but it wasn’t helping with the foot drag and loss of arm function.

‘I had always intended to have deep brain stimulation treatment when the drugs stopped helping. My specialist, Dr Wesley Thevathasan, suggested I join a clinical trial using new technology.’

The new technology, developed at the Bionics Institute to improve deep brain stimulation, is used to ensure the electrodes are placed accurately.

My wife Mandy says “I have my husband back”. It’s been such a positive outcome for me. Andrew

Previously patients had to be awake during surgery to report on their symptoms and guide placement of the medical device, but patients can now have the 4-hour procedure under anaesthetic.

‘I would have been happy to be awake during the operation if that would have contributed to the success of the procedure. But the doctors were very confident in the new system and said it’s easier if I’m asleep,’ he said. ‘How do I feel now?
Wow. Amazing!’

Andrew is grateful for the new lease on life he’s been given. In fact, he’s feeling so good he signed up for a triathlon just 4 months after having the operation.

‘With a progressive disease you forget how well you can feel, not just physically but mentally.

My wife Mandy says “I have my husband back”. It’s been such a positive outcome for me.’

Learn more about our Parkinson’s disease research here

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