April is Parkinsons' awareness month, this blog emphasises the importance of increasing awareness and understanding of the disease and what you can do to help.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder that affects the way a person moves. The disease develops slowly over time and causes a gradual loss of control over one’s movements. Parkinson’s affects people of all ages, but it is most common in older adults.
The disease is caused by the degeneration of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that is responsible for sending messages between the brain and muscles. When the dopamine-producing neurons die, it becomes harder for the brain to communicate with the muscles, leading to the movement problems associated with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s symptoms can vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and co-ordination. Other symptoms may include problems with speech, swallowing, and writing, as well as cognitive and mood changes. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms. Medications can help increase dopamine levels in the brain and improve movement. Physical therapy and exercise can also be helpful in maintaining mobility and balance. In more advanced cases, surgery may be an option.
Increasing awareness about Parkinson’s disease is crucial to improving understanding and reducing stigma. This includes educating people about the symptoms of Parkinson’s, the available treatments, and the challenges faced by people living with the disease. It also involves supporting research efforts to better understand the causes and progression of Parkinson’s and develop more effective treatments. There are many ways to get involved in Parkinson’s awareness efforts. One of the most effective ways is to participate in fundraising events, such as walks or runs, which raise money for research and support services for people suffering with the disease. Advocacy groups such as the Parkinson’s Foundation and Parkinson’s UK are also great resources for people looking to get involved in awareness and advocacy efforts.
If you want to see more information on Parkinson’s or what you can do to help, you can find all that and more here.