Collaborating in Patient Care
Specialized therapy relieves Parkinson’s disease symptoms
Froedtert physical therapist Jessica Doine, PT, DPT, guides Margaret Cameranesi through exercises designed to limit Parkinson’s disease symptoms, while her neurologist, Karen Blindauer, MD, observes.
In 2007, Margaret Cameranesi’s primary care physician noticed the resting tremors that would lead to her diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. She started seeing a neurologist, but her specialist shortly relocated.
As Margaret was looking for a new doctor, she saw that Medical College of Wisconsin neurologist Karen Blindauer, MD, was speaking about Parkinson’s disease at a community center near her Wauwatosa home. Interested in what an academic medical center had to offer, Margaret attended the session and soon became Dr. Blindauer’s patient.
Dr. Blindauer practices in the Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Program. Through the College’s partnership with Froedtert Hospital, patients benefit not only from the expertise of Medical College faculty physicians, but also Froedtert’s advanced technology and specially trained health professionals including nurses, therapists, dieticians, social workers and others who support the level of academic medicine.
For Margaret, this has meant access to a full range of neuro-rehabilitation services, including occupational therapy and a specialized physical therapy program to improve her mobility and quality of life. During her intensive, four-week physical therapy program, Margaret completed tailored exercises four times per week, plus twice a day at home. Her Froedtert physical therapist, Jessica Doine, PT, DPT, led her through large, deliberate movements designed to restore strength and balance, mitigating the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Margaret is also responding well to the medication portion of her treatment. Dr. Blindauer is a nationally known expert in Parkinson’s disease therapeutics who has led studies on the development of new treatments for Parkinson’s. She is a member of the Parkinson Study Group, an international group of physicians and scientists from such institutions as Johns Hopkins, Columbia University and UCLA dedicated to discovering new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.
The partnership between Froedtert and the Medical College is additionally strengthened by the collaborative Women’s Health Research Program, dedicated to addressing the most pressing health issues affecting women. This research has the potential to improve care for patients like Margaret across generations and medical conditions.
Because of her innovative treatment, Margaret’s symptoms are under excellent control, causing little interference with activities of daily living. She continues to exercise on her own. Above all, she is thankful for the compassionate care she receives from Dr. Blindauer and her team.
“When you are feeling vulnerable, your doctor holds so much of your well-being in her hands,” said Margaret, a retired teacher. “To be as thoughtful as Dr. Blindauer means a lot.”
Dr. Blindauer is Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Program.