Well, this morning I had my first online interview for the research I have just embarked on which is ‘NZ Parkinson’s Environment and Genes Study (NZ PEGS). I must say I was rather nervous about it.
They did some follow-up questions regarding the online questionnaires that I filled in and clarified some of my answers. One thing that they got me to do was to count backwards from 100 in 7’s. I found this incredibly difficult. As I said to them, I believe that you are either a numbers person or a words person and I am definitely not a numbers person! I would always have struggled with doing this task, Parkies or no Parkies.
Another thing they got me to do was to name as many words beginning with ‘F’ as I could. The rule was also that I could not use ‘add-ons’ to words, like ‘love’ ‘lover’ ‘lovely’. So that was an interesting task. I did so much better with this task, in fact she said she thought I should win a prize for the most words given. Go me!
There were a few questions about impulsivity as well, as Pramipexole can make people impulsive in a number of areas, especially gambling and shopping! I have no issues with gambling, but told her that I have always been a bit impulsive and spendy, but didn’t think there was a marked difference since taking the medication.
As the research title suggests, there is a genetic element to the testing in which I supplied DNA to be tested for the gene that might indicate that I may pass on the gene for Parkinson’s. She said that having both parents with Parkinson’s is very unusual. If they find the gene they will let me know and I in turn will be able to talk to my children and see whether they might need genetic testing, if they wish to do so. All in all, a very thorough study.
Hopefully, my participation in this study will help to provide information that will help others in the future.