While the Progress Recorder App was in development we underwent paper trials.
We asked our user who suffers from parkinsonism symptoms to draw the spiral over the course of a month while taking notes in regards to medication, supplements, treatment, mood, stress, environment, diet, exercise and general activities.
Here are his recordings:
Medication: 1.5 mg Sifrol ER. Supplements: Mega PC-35 x3, Evening Primrose x3, Co-Q10 x1, VegeNAC x2, Glutathione Reduced x2. Ketogenic diet. Stressed from driving all weekend and a lack of sleep.
Same medication/supplements. Ketogenic lapse. Long day at work. Feel more relaxed now that it's done for the day. Relaxing night watching TV.
Same medication/supplements/diet. No breakfast. Just woke up. Really cold! Didn't sleep well.
Medication 0.375 mg. Same supplements/diet. Woke up early. Had breakfast already.
Same medication/supplements/diet. Relaxing day working from home. Worked all night.
Same medication/supplements/diet. Long day at home working. Pretty chilled.
Same medication/supplements/diet. Realised that it's easier if you dig the pen into the paper.
Same medication/supplements/diet. Anzac day. Bad sleep. Went to bed early. Woke up at 9.
Same medication/supplements/diet. Binge watching TV. Not motivated to do much else. Worked at same time.
Same medication/supplements/diet. 1 year anniversary of diagnosis. Yay! Worked all night. Sore neck.
Same medication/supplements/diet. It's been a good week. Haven't felt bad since Saturday.
Same medication/supplements/diet. Woke up early to garbage truck. Late on supplements.
Same medication/supplements/diet. Went to dentist and had amalgum fillings removed. Doing detox.
Same medication/supplements/diet. Moving things, cleaning and taking photos all night.
It seems that the user's symptoms didn't change when the medication was reduced to a quarter. Symptoms were generally worse first thing in the morning and during or after active weekends. Diet may have had an affect - but it's hard to say. Since medication has reduced, the patient feels much better but is concerned that his hand is getting slower and heavy - doesn't move much.
As far as Progress Recorder goes, It appears that simply taking notes is a little repetitive and doesn't prompt useful information. It would be ideal to enter medication once and then have the option to make changes as needed and include sliders for sleep and stress levels.
You can identify possible reasons for the fluctuation of your symptoms. The information can then be shared with your specialist.