Two main reasons for being 'not ok', can either be too much or not enough levodopa. Lets take a closer look at these two problems:
Undertreatment occurs when dopamine levels are too low. This will cause typical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: stiffness, slowness, slow gait, tremor (trembling, shaking), poverty of movements, soft speech, difficulty to get up from a chair, small steps, etc. This state is called ‘off’. Yellow is the color representing this state: deep yellow when severe, more towards green for a bit off. Showing your doctor where the worst moments of the day occur in your Parkinson smartwatch diary, helps to find a treatment strategy to get rid of them.
The other problem is associated with overtreatment, when dopamine-levels are too high you may experience involuntary movements called dyskinesia or choreodystonia. Red is the color for dyskinesia. Less severe dyskinesia are scored closer to the green (in the middle on the ‘rainbow‘), and represented in charts as orange (moderate) or pink (slight dyskinesia). (Please note that tremor is yellow, not red!).
Your doctor will help you to solve this problem. In this example case, simply increasing the first dose would gain more green hours, because the white line ascends into the green area.
Managing these problems is a lot easier if you can show the doctor your status in a diary, so he or she knows where treatment is too low or too high. That is where Parkinson smartwatch offers an easy way to record your status. It will also help you to take your medicines correctly and on time.
An alternative way to fill your diary with data would be to remind you with a beep, e.g every 30 minutes, to score how you are doing. This turned out te be very annoying for most patients. With PSW you simply record whenever you feel your status has CHANGED. That means your diary will continue your last recorded severity score, until you tap again.
Tapping too often will not harm the registratiion. It is recommended to score as accurately as possible, but don’t worry: forgetting a tap is easily compensated for by a registration at another day. Skipping days is also no problem at all. It is better to score accurately for fewer days, than to score a lot without precision. Many patients use the diary mainly in the week before an appointment with the doctor, while using the medication and exercise reminders continuously.
Not all patients with PD have ‘dyskinesia’. These unvoluntary movements occur more often in younger patients. Thus, if you don’t have them, you will not need to tap the red area. The red area is NOT suitable to score tremor: ‘tremor is yellow’ ! The difference between tremor and dyskinesia is explained in detail HERE (under construction)