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The EPDA finds out what it’s like to put the monthly Parkinson’s podcast together, and what new subjects it may cover in 2020

Since launching its Parkinson’s-dedicated monthly podcast last year, Parkinson’s Life’s monthly broadcast has covered a wide range of subjects affecting those who live with the condition.

The EPDA went behind the scenes and spoke to Parkinson’s Life editor Laura Smith to discover how the team put the series together, and what topics may be covered this year.

Screenshot of the Parkinson's Life podcast archive

What is your role in creating the podcast?

"As editor of Parkinson’s Life, the online magazine for the global Parkinson’s community, my role is to work with the editorial team to plan themes for future episodes of the podcast, identify suitable guests and plan how we want the programme to sound.

"I also present some of the episodes, which involves mediating the conversation between guests and is always fascinating: every month we bring two people together, and you never know what they’re going to say or how they’re going to interact with each other."

When was the podcast launched? 

"We launched the podcast in July last year and have so far published six episodes, covering parenting, work, caring, communicating with your healthcare professional and being creative – all through the lens of Parkinson’s.

"We also had a one-off episode as part of our #WomenandParkinsons campaign, highlighting the data gap that exists around women and the condition."

Why has Parkinson’s Life launched this podcast series?

"We’re always looking for new ways to connect with the global Parkinson’s community and help raise awareness and knowledge about the condition. We know there is increasing demand for audio content, so launching a podcast seemed an exciting step.

"We believe in the power of conversation, which is why our format always brings together two people with experience of the condition, rather than being based on an interviewer asking questions. A lot of the interactions have been really powerful." 

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We’re always looking for new ways to connect with the global Parkinson’s community and help raise awareness and knowledge about the condition. We know there is increasing demand for audio content, so launching a podcast seemed an exciting step

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What do you hope it will achieve for people with Parkinson's?

"We hope to be a useful source of information and inspiration for anybody affected by the condition, and more broadly, that the podcast helps to increase awareness of what it’s like to live with the world’s fastest-growing neurological condition.

"At its most basic, though, we hope people enjoy listening – and get something satisfying out of the experience."

How do you choose which subjects to cover in the podcast?

"We publish at least 12 stories every month on Parkinson’s Life, so our team is in constant contact with people with amazing stories to tell or important things to say about living with the condition – so there’s no shortage of interviewees.

"We have regular brainstorms to decide which subjects we think will work best for the podcast – and which two guests might bring it to life."

Which have been the most popular episodes so far?

"Our third episode, on Parkinson’s and work, was the most popular – I assume because managing the condition alongside trying to still have a career or simply earning money is something a lot of people are struggling with. Our first episode, Parenting and Parkinson’s, came a close second."

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Our third episode, on Parkinson’s and work, was the most popular – I assume because managing the condition alongside trying to still have a career or simply earning money is something a lot of people are struggling with

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What subjects may the podcast focus on in 2020?

"Some of the subjects we are discussing are end of life care, taking part in a clinical trial, sex and intimacy, the power of laughter, impulse control and exercise – so it’s pretty varied.

"How can people with ideas for the podcast, or who would be interested in taking part, get in touch?

"We always welcome ideas from Parkinson’s Life readers and listeners. Anyone with an idea for a theme or guest is welcome to get in touch through the Parkinson’s Life website or by email.

"We also genuinely welcome feedback, so would encourage anybody with an interest to get in touch."

How often do episodes come out, and where can people listen?

"The first six episodes were published monthly on the third Wednesday of the month. People can listen and subscribe through Soundcloud, iTunes and YouTube.

"The podcasts page on Parkinson’s Life has articles about and links to all published episodes."

Further reading:

Do you listen to the Parkinson’s Life podcast? Which episodes have you most enjoyed, and which topics would you like to see covered? Email info@epda.eu.com and tell us your stories.

The EPDA is sharing this article for information purposes only; it does not represent the EPDA’s views and is not an endorsement by the EPDA of any particular treatments, therapies or products.

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