‘I bumped into a strange figure on the stairs’: Radio legend David ‘Kid’ Jensen reveals the hallucinations caused by Parkinson’s disease conjure up images of people and animals that don’t exist
- DJ ‘Kid’ Jensen has joined a clinical trial after Parkinson’s caused hallucinations
- Presenter, 72, saw a dog ‘who doesn’t exist’ and bumped into ‘figure’ on the stairs
- Hallucinations ‘part of my life’ after living with disease for over a decade, he said
Broadcaster David Jensen has described having hallucinations caused by Parkinson’s disease as he urged others with the condition to join him in a clinical trial.
The TV and radio presenter, 72, described seeing a dog ‘who doesn’t really exist’ and ‘bumping into a strange figure on the stairs when I get up in the night’.
The Radio 1 stalwart and DJ, nicknamed ‘Kid’ aged 18 when he was the youngest radio presenter in Europe, has been living with the disease for more than a decade.
TV and Radio presenter David ‘Kid’ Jensen (pictured), 72, described seeing a dog ‘who doesn’t really exist’ and ‘bumping into a strange figure on the stairs when I get up in the night’
The Radio 1 stalwart and DJ was nicknamed ‘Kid’ aged 18 when he was the youngest radio presenter in Europe
Mr Jensen is calling for others with Parkinson’s and those with Lewy body dementia to join a trial named Top Hat to see whether the low-cost drug ondansetron could alleviate hallucinations
He said the hallucinations ‘are very much a part of my life’.
He is calling for others with Parkinson’s and those with Lewy body dementia to join a trial named Top Hat to see whether the low-cost drug ondansetron could alleviate hallucinations.
It is funded by Parkinson’s UK and led by University College London, with trial sites around Britain.
The former Top Of The Pops presenter said taking part ‘has left me feeling empowered and hopeful for future treatments for Parkinson’s’.
David ‘Kid’ Jensen has lived with Parkinson’s for over a decade and has said hallucinations ‘are very much a part of my life’. Pictured right: David Jensen with his wife Gudren at his home in Esher
He said: ‘I also want to call on those who have loved ones with these conditions to encourage them to consider taking part in this and other pioneering research.
‘Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011, I have discovered that it’s a condition that is full of surprises.
‘Many people are aware of symptoms such as stiffness and tremors, but there are actually more than 40, including hallucinations.
‘Although hallucinations aren’t something that most people identify with the condition, around three quarters of people with Parkinson’s may experience them at some point.
‘The medications that are currently available to treat visual hallucinations are far from ideal as they can worsen Parkinson’s symptoms or have serious side effects.’
The clinical trial is being funded by Parkinson’s UK and led by University College London, with clinical trial sites around Britain.
Mr Jensen added: ‘Without people coming forward to participate in trials, progress in Parkinson’s research would be impossible. We can all play a part in finding life-changing new treatments.’
Kid and his wife Gudrun joined Lorraine on the sofa in 2018 after revealing he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease
Caroline Rassell, chief executive of Parkinson’s UK, said: ‘Although the most recognised symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity, there are actually more than 40 possible symptoms including hallucinations, depression, and pain.
‘That’s why we’re so grateful to David and others like him who participate in trials to help us find treatments.
‘As the Top Hat trial is looking into the effects of an already licensed low-cost drug, ondansetron, if the research shows significant outcomes it could be available for people with Parkinson’s or Lewy body dementia who experience hallucinations within the next few years.
‘We at Parkinson’s UK are proud to be funding research into the most promising treatments, taking us closer to a cure every day.’
To find about more visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/research/take-part-research
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