Today is World Parkinson’s Day!

Posted on April 11, 2011

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World Parkinson’s Day is a great opportunity to bring awareness, promote research, and unite those who have been affected by Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s can be a complicated disease for those who do not know much about it. Here are some facts provided by National Library of Medicine :

 

What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that affects neurons, nerve cells, in a part of the brain that controls muscle movement. When someone has Parkinson’s their neurons die or do not work properly. This stops them from making a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is important because it sends signals that help coordinate your movements. Because of this, people with Parkinson’s disease have difficulty controlling some types of muscle movement.

 

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s?

Parkinson symptoms are usually summed up into four categories:

  • Tremor- trembling of the hands, arms, legs, jaw or head

  • Rigidity- stiffness of arms, legs, and trunks

  • Bradykinesia-slowness of movement

  • Postural Instability-poor balance and coordination

 

Who gets Parkinson’s?

About 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinsons. Age is one clear risk factor of the disorder. It usually begins around the age of 60. As you age, the risk of getting Parkinson’s increases. However, there are cases where people get the disease before 50. This is called early onset.

 

Is Parkinson’s treatable?

Currently, there is no cure for Parkinsons but there are a number of medicines that can sometimes dramatically help symptoms.

 

Check out this interactive tutorial if you want more information on Parkinson’s disease. It is a great way to stay informed.

 

Also, if you would like more resources or have any questions, call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.

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