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New Podcast Series To Highlight Research Opportunities For People With Parkinson's In The North Of Scotland

19th January 2023

People who live with Parkinson's in the north of Scotland can find out more about research on the condition being carried out in the region through a new series of podcasts produced by the North of Scotland Parkinson's Research Interest Group.

Created with the aim of increasing awareness and involvement in research, the podcast series, launched this week, highlights the breadth of Parkinson's research taking place across Scotland.

Julie Jones and Helga MacFarlane, both members of the North of Scotland Parkinson's Research Interest Group, are the main drivers of the podcast series, which can be found on Podbean

Julie is a physiotherapist and senior lecturer at Robert Gordon University, who is passionate about improving services for people with Parkinson's. Helga, a former journalist, lives with the condition and works to raise awareness of Parkinson's.

"Some of the other research interest groups in Scotland have been successful in raising the profile and dissemination of research through ‘meet the researcher' events, hosted online or in person, but this is a little more challenging for the North of Scotland Research Interest Group because of the massive area we cover," explained Julie.

"So we decided on a different approach and have curated a short series of podcasts based on recorded conversions with researchers, answering questions put forward by people living with Parkinson’s in the north of Scotland."

"People up here sometimes think all the research is happening down south, but as the first three episodes demonstrate, that is not the case," continued Helga.

"I think another misconception is that research is always lab-based, whereas what we want to show people is that there is research happening in the north of Scotland, which is not lab based, and is very relevant and important to the everyday lives of people like me, who have Parkinson’s."

Episode one is available to listen to now on Podbean. It features Julie in conversation with Dr Angus Macleod, consultant neurologist with NHS Grampian, who splits his time between his clinical work and an academic role within the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen. Dr Macleod discusses the impact of this current research on people living with Parkinson’s.

Next week, on 26th January 2023, the second episode will be released, featuring Dr Carl Counsell, also a clinical neurologist and researcher, who leads the Chronic Disease Research Group at the University of Aberdeen. Dr Counsell and Dr MacLeod will follow up their appearances on the podcast with a live question and answer session hosted on Zoom on 8th February 2023 You can register now to be sent the link later to join in.

"In the third episode, which will be released next month, Helga interviews me and we discuss my research on exercise and the challenges for allied health professionals," continued Julie.

"For the fourth episode, we spoke with Prof Tilo Kunath, who is based at the University of Edinburgh, and whose main work has looked at stem cell implantations, which is thought could have a positive impact on the progression of Parkinson’s.

"We are considering turning the question and answer session with Dr Macleod and Dr Counsell into a further episode and have more researchers in mind for future interviews."

Podcasts are available to access, as released on Podbean, but can also be heard on Amazon Music, iHeardRadio and Podchaser. Listeners are encouraged to ‘follow’ the page on Podbean, to find out when new episodes are uploaded, and to share the podcasts with anyone who has an interest in Parkinson’s.