Today I’d like to talk to you about something that affects me on a personal level. I’d like to talk to you about Parkinson’s.
I know it seems like every month there are various health awareness days, weeks and months from the various charities/organisations each promoting their cause and April is no different.
This month is
- Stress Awareness Month
- Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
- IBS Awareness Month
Then we have
- Parkinson’s Awareness Week on 10-16 April
- Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week on 17-23 April
- MS Awareness Week – 25-30 April
- 2 April – World Autism Awareness Day 2017
- 11 April – World Parkinson’s Day
- 17 April – World Haemophilia Day 2017
- 25 April – World Malaria Day 2017
Although there are several areas mentioned above that I support, I would like to talk to you specifically about Parkinson’s as this is one disease that is very close to my heart as a few years back my Dad was diagnosed this currently incurable disease.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition caused by a lack of a chemical called dopamine due to some nerve cells in their brain dying.
The loss of nerve cells in the brain causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s to appear. Plus without dopamine people can find that it takes longer to do things as their movements become slower.
There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s and we still don’t know why people get the condition. However, drugs and treatments are available to help manage the symptoms, which get worse over time.
So why am I writing this
People with Parkinson’s need a breakthrough. Only with the support of the public can we develop better treatments, faster.
It was over 50 years ago since the last significant drug discovery for Parkinson’s was made. However, the current Parkinson’s drugs aren’t good enough. They don’t stop, slow down or reverse the condition or its effects. They can only mask some symptoms for a time – and they can have distressing side effects.
I’m seeing this first hand with my Dad. His current level of medication is causing hallucinations. He has seen people stuck in trees and a whole family sat in the living room watching TV with him.
World Parkinson’s Day
This year World Parkinson’s Day (Tuesday, 11 April 2017) falls within Parkinson’s Awareness Week. This day marks 200 years since the Parkinson’s was first recognised as a medical condition.
How can you help?
On World Parkinson’s Day, use the hashtag #UniteForParkinsons wherever you can on your social media channels. I know I will be!
Thanks for reading, until next time.