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Parkinson's Awareness Month

Parkinson’s disease, also known as a ‘movement disorder’, affects nearly one million individuals living in the United States. It is a progressive disorder that starts slowly and worsens overtime. Parkinson’s occurs when cells in the brain, which contribute to movement, deteriorate or decline. As a result, Parkinson’s disease can cause tremors or trembling in the limbs and jaw, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance issues.


In addition to the symptoms mentioned, there are several non-movement or non-motor symptoms that exist. They are often referred to as the invisible symptoms of Parkinson’s because they are not visible from the outside. These symptoms include but are not limited to depression, memory or sleep issues, and constipation. We must also note that every person diagnosed with Parkinson’s may not experience the same symptoms. For example, some patients may experience walking and balance issues but might not have tremors. The symptoms and severity varies from person to person.


The primary risk factor for Parkinson’s disease is age. While Parkinson’s disease typically effects older adults, it can affect the younger demographic as well. According to Parkinsons.org, for example, nearly four percent of individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed before the age of 50. Actor Michael J. Fox for instance, was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 30.


While there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, there are medications to help lessen the movement and non-movement symptoms. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and it is the perfect time to spread awareness on this disease. Visit Parkinsons.org to learn more about the disease and what strides are being made towards a cure.



Sources:

https://www.michaeljfox.org/parkinsons-101

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