Dystonia Europe (DE) and the European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA) are collaborating with Boston Scientific, a global medical technology provider. The aim of these partnerships is to increase awareness, understanding of solutions and to take initiatives in the world wide fight against Parkinson's disease and dystonia, two areas of high unmet need.
Both Parkinson's and dystonia are neurological diseases which include involuntary body movements such as tremors, sustained muscle contractions and abnormal twisting or postures, often referred to as motor symptoms. These symptoms can worsen over time due to the chronic and progressive nature of these conditions. For people living with Parkinson's or dystonia, they can be painful and interfere with managing daily living activities.
Parkinson's disease affects approximately 1.2 million Europeans and seven to 10 million people worldwide. Parkinson's is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and is forecast to double by 2030 as the population ages. In comparison, dystonia is the third most common movement disorder after Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. It affects more than 500,000 people across Europe, including children and adults.
"Ongoing educational efforts are needed to extend awareness of dystonia in Europe. We aim to connect people and organizations for dystonia to improve the quality of life for people living with dystonia, to stimulate research for more effective treatments and ultimately, to find a cure," said Robert Scholten, president of Dystonia Europe.
"In Europe alone, the facts about Parkinson's disease are startling. The tremendous economic and social burden will increase even more in the years to come, so we need to take action now to limit the impact on people with Parkinson's, their families, carers and society as a whole. At the EPDA, we realized that we can only make a difference and be successful if we collaborate and share knowledge, so we are looking forward to working with Boston Scientific," said Knut-Johan Onarheim, president of EPDA.
Dystonia Europe, the EPDA and Boston Scientific will work together on practical initiatives to improve Parkinson's and dystonia care in Europe. Boston Scientific is determined to innovate the treatment of both neurological disorders. Recently, the company developed a new deep brain stimulation system (DBS) called Vercise. It is the first system designed to selectively stimulate targeted areas of the brain, which helps to customize therapy and manages symptoms of Parkinson's disease and dystonia syndromes.
"Neurological diseases are among the greatest healthcare challenges we currently face. At Boston Scientific, we are committed to improving how the diseases are managed today and developing innovative medical technologies that have a real impact on people's lives. We are very pleased that we have the opportunity to work together with such strong and valued partners to advance dystonia and Parkinson's care in Europe," said Maulik Nanavaty, senior vice president and president of Neuromodulation at Boston Scientific.