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Parkinson’s Awareness Month

In 2010, April was designated Parkinson’s Awareness Month by the United States Senate. Their goal was to raise public awareness for this disease that affects millions of people around the world.

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative condition. Neurodegenerative is a term which refers to a progressive loss of nerve cells and/or their function. Some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
• Difficulties with balance, chewing, speaking and swallowing
• Tremor
• Slowness
• Constipation
• Sleep disruption
• Psychological issues, including problems with cognition, anxiety and depression

The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, though some believe that both genetic and environmental factors are involved.

In 2013, 53 million people were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and about 103,000 died from it. This disease typically occurs in people over the age of 60. Males are more likely to suffer from it than are females.

There are no cures for Parkinson’s disease. Some drug treatments have helped people who are in the early stages of this disease, but they seem to become less effective as the disease progresses. Changes in diet and some forms of rehabilitation have been shown to help with some of the symptoms.

By improving public awareness of Parkinson’s disease, it is hoped that we can encourage further research into finding a cure or adequate treatment. We also need to find ways to help support those who are suffering.

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the National Parkinson Foundation are just a few of the organizations you can call if you’d like to make a donation.