I am delighted to be the Guest Editor of this special issue of Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, which is devoted to Parkinson's disease (PD). Providing care to patients with late-stage PD has been my particular interest for most of my professional life in the field of PD. I leave the introduction of the authors and their topics in the capable hands of Mark A. Hirsch and his colleagues. I hope this issue provides food for thought, discussion, and ideas for implementing novel methods of assessment and care.
Readers may wonder why a nurse has presumed to take on the task of compiling a special issue for a rehabilitation journal. In 1982, I moderated the very first Parkinson Foundation of Canada Education Meeting. A patient asked the panel of internationally distinguished physicians whether exercise and physiotherapy were useful for PD. One panelist (a giant in the world of PD treatment at the time) told the patient that it was a waste of time. I disagreed with him but did not challenge him. I hope this issue serves to correct what I should have had the courage to say all those years ago. For almost 25 years working in the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, access to assessment and treatment of our patients by rehabilitation specialists has been an important part of providing them with quality care. From the first time patients attend clinic, they present a long-term challenge that physicians, nurses, and social workers cannot hope to meet without the expertise and intervention of the rehabilitation specialist.
Susan Calne, CM
Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre 2221 Wesbrook Mall Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V6R 4L1