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A new platform supporting young Aussies with early onset Parkinson’s Disease

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The Young Onset Parkinson’s Exchange app (YOP-X) is an Australian-first digital platform that aims to provide critical support to young Aussies affected by the disease.

The app offers a unique resource hub filled with more than a hundred individual first-hand knowledge, experiences, and ideas from Aussies living with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. This digital platform is designed to provide information and education specifically for people living with the disease and similar conditions under the age of 65.

The app is accessible to patients, primary carers, NDIS-contracted providers, and healthcare professionals.

According to the app’s website the YOP-X works to remove barriers preventing clients, NDIS staff and other health professionals, from accessing high-quality tools and resources regarding young-onset Parkinson’s, and provides targeted delivery of information through online and App-based platforms suited to people with the disease.

“YOPD patients are in the prime of their lives – a time when they should be at their most productive, juggling competing demands, including employment, family and school commitments, sport, and various social events and activities,” says Dr Fiona Kerr, Cognitive Neuroscientist, Founder and CEO, The NeuroTech Institute, and member of The Young Onset Parkinson’s Exchange (YOP-X) project working party.

“People living with YOPD must not only face times of debilitating motor impairment but must also contend with non-motor symptoms, including anxiety, depression, apathy and sleep disorders that can substantially compromise their quality of life.” adds Dr Kerr “The combination of support provided by the YOP-X app and medical care offers YOPD patients a holistic approach to addressing changes involving their work, relationships, sleep, physical ability and mental health.”

Evidence gathered from people with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease suggests a lack of information, education, and understanding of the condition, symptoms, and progression. There is also a lack of support that allows for social, community and economic participation.

With this in mind, the team behind YOP-X has created the app as a platform for the following key pillars of information and resources:

  • Mental health and emotional wellbeing.
  • Employment and legal.
  • Sex, relationships and intimacy.
  • Sleep, fatigue and maximising energy.
  • Exercise and nutrition.
  • Changing your brain

According to Parkinson’s Australia, about 20 per cent of people with Parkinson’s have symptoms before age 50 with many diagnosed in their 30s and 40s. If people with younger onset Parkinson’s are to retain the best quality of life possible, they will benefit from becoming as knowledgeable as possible and involved in the management of their condition.

The YOP-X app is free to download on the App Store and Google Play.

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