“Parkinson’s is…” Understanding life with Parkinson’s during World Parkinson’s Day

Every hour, two people across the UK are told they have Parkinson’s; even so, 87 per cent have faced harassment and discrimination. This World Parkinson’s Day (11 April) it’s time to promote understanding of the condition.

Parkinson’s is what happens when brain cells that produce dopamine start to die, there are over 40 possible symptoms of the condition, and the effects of Parkinson’s can vary.

It does not discriminate, there is no age limit, and, unfortunately, there is no cure at present.

There are many forms of Parkinson’s – many that people may not know about – including an incredibly rare form of Parkinson’s disease dementia, which accounts for two per cent of all cases of dementia in the UK.

EDUCATION

It is imperative to continue raising awareness of Parkinson’s so people living with the condition, their loved ones, and health professionals can live healthy lives.

However, recent figures reveal that many people face discrimination due to their condition.

Dave Clark is a Sky Sports Presenter, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011, he says: “I’ve been made fun of online because of the way Parkinson’s affects the muscles in my face. 

“And when my medication isn’t working it affects how I walk, and as a result I’ve been accused of being drunk by random people on the street. 

“It’s upsetting, and 99 per cent of the time it comes from people’s ignorance about Parkinson’s rather than any real intention to hurt. But it does.”

Now an ambassador for the UK’s leading Parkinson’s charity, Parkinson’s UK, Dave and many more are coming together to encourage improved knowledge of the condition.

RESEARCH

The survey – which spoke to more than 2,300 people with Parkinson’s – showed that people have been accused of drunkenness, rudeness, or disbelief due to their symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s include: tremors, rigid muscles, impaired posture and balance, changes in speech or writing, plus additional physical and mental symptoms. 

In a bid to promote understanding of Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s UK has launched their new campaign Parkinson’s Is

With eight in ten people with Parkinson’s believing awareness is low, today, and in the future is time to promote education so people can learn that Parkinson’s is a serious condition.

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