Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month

Parkinson’s disease is brain disorder that slowly progresses and causes a person to lose ability to regulate body movements. The neurodegenerative disorder is caused by a decrease in dopamine in the brain. Dopamine helps cells in the brain carry signals to one another, and with decreases of the chemical, the cells have trouble relaying communication. Although the disease itself is not terminal, people with advanced disease suffer greatly from complications. April is recognized as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month to spread knowledge and information about the disease and ways for people and their caregivers to cope with the disease and for researchers to find a cure. About 50,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year. Cause and Symptoms Researchers don’t know the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease, but they have identified several symptoms that can signify the disease.
  1. Tremor, can present as shaking hands or rubbing thumb and forefinger together
  2. Slowed movement, such as shorter steps or dragging feet
  3. Rigid muscles limiting range of motion
  4. Impaired balance or posture
  5. Loss of automatic movements, such as blinking, smiling or swinging of arms
  6. Speech or writing changes such as slurring and smaller handwriting
Coping at Home Because Parkinson’s disease causes chemical imbalances in the brain, people with the condition can suffer from depression or anxiety. Because of the physical symptoms, older adults with Parkinson’s are also prone to falling. In those cases, a medical alert monitoring system can provide an added layer of security for both the person with the disease and his/her caregiver. Shop medical alerts now> Get Involved Here are three ways to participate in Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month:
  • Join an online discussion in the National Parkinson Foundation “Ask the Doctor” forum
  • Participate in a community Walk for Parkinson’s
  • Reach out to your local chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation
Source: Mayo Clinic, National Parkinson Foundation