Today (11 April) is World Parkinson’s Day, where we raise awareness of the condition to help the wider community understand what living with Parkinson’s is really like.
Parkinson’s is a condition that’s often misunderstood, despite the fact that many people know someone living with Parkinson’s.
According to Parkinson’s UK, if you know 66 people, chances are you know someone who has Parkinson’s, which makes understanding the condition so important.
WHAT IS PARKINSON’S
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition. It causes problems with the brain which get worse over time. Currently, 145,000 are diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the UK, but over one million people are affected by the condition, either living with it, or caring for someone who does.
World Parkinson’s Day is celebrated annually on 11 April, the birthday of Dr James Parkinson – the doctor who first diagnosed Parkinson’s in 1817
The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement. Other symptoms include:
- restless legs
- eating, swallowing and saliva control
- mental health problems.
For a full list of symptoms, visit the Parkinson’s UK website.
Sadly, Parkinson’s currently has no cure, however there are treatment options available to manage symptoms. The main treatments include medications, exercise and complimentary therapies.
New evidence suggests that doing two and a half hours of exercise per week can help alleviate the symptoms brought on by the condition, and can help improve your mental health, too.
Therapies that can also help include occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and physiotherapy.
WORLD PARKINSON’S DAY
This year, the focus is on promoting understanding of Parkinson’s. On the Parkinson’s UK website, there will be a map made up of stories from people living with the condition, to show how it affects them.
If you’re self-isolating this World Parkinson’s Day, you can still show your support. Make sure to read the stories of those living with the condition, and share them on social media to spread the world.
If you’re living with Parkinson’s at this time, it’s vital to stay inside, as Parkinson’s patients are particularly vulnerable to sickness if you catch COVID-19. You can still seek support from your carers, as well as on the Parkinson’s UK website.
Why not visit the charity’s forum, to speak to others going through similar experiences, for some solidarity. This is a great place to visit if you’re living with the condition, or are caring for someone with Parkinson’s.
The more people know and understand about Parkinson’s, the closer we will be to finding a cure. So, this World Parkinson’s Day, make sure to make your voice heard and raise awareness about Parkinson’s.