April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. But just what does that mean?
Here’s everything you need to know—including how to support and empower people living with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, meaning that is a condition that affects the nervous system, with the condition progressing over time. Its most distinctive symptoms are tremors in the hands, arms, and face, although other symptoms, including mood changes and cognitive impairment, also commonly occur.
Symptoms of PD include:
There is currently no cure for this neurological disorder, so treatment is primarily focused on improving overall quality of life.
This condition occurs after the death of neurons in the basal ganglia, specifically the substantia nigra. This loss of nerve cells results in decreased production of the chemicals norepinephrine/noradrenaline and dopamine, which causes the neurological and motor symptoms seen with the disorder.
No one knows why the neuron deaths associated with PD occur, although the following appear to be risk factors:
Parkinson’s Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness about the disease, including early detection methods, treatment options, and research opportunities.
Parkinson’s Awareness Month takes place each April, and World Parkinson’s Day is April 11. This date is to commemorate the birthday of London physician and neurologist James Parkinson, who first described the condition in his 1817 work An Essay on the Shaking Palsy.
The current symbol of Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month is a red tulip in honor of J.W.S. Van der Wereld, a man living with PD who developed a red-and-white tulip variant in 1980.
Take action today to make a difference and support a loved one with Parkinson’s.
Learn more about this condition, from white papers to webinars to testimonials from people living with PD.
People living with Parkinson’s can connect with others through the following organizations.