Each year, April marks Parkinson’s Awareness Month and World Parkinson’s Day (11 April) provides an opportunity to further awareness and education around the neurological condition.
Currently, there are around 145,000 people in the UK diagnosed with Parkinson’s but it is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Despite this, many people don’t know how Parkinson’s affects people or that treatments for the condition are extremely limited. Through these awareness events, vital funds can be raised to continue research into the condition and future treatments.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’shttps://www.parkinsons.org.uk is a progressive neurological condition that occurs when the brain doesn’t have enough of the chemical dopamine. This happens because the nerve cells which produce dopamine have stopped working and have died. Currently, it isn’t known why dopamine producing cells are lost, but that’s why research is so important.
A vital chemical, dopamine is used to send messages around the brain about movement such as walking, talking, writing and smiling. When the brain can’t make enough dopamine, it gets increasingly difficult to control movement.
There are over 40 different symptoms of Parkinson’s and they can range from physical pain and movement difficulties to mental health problems and trouble sleeping. It’s important to know that everyone’s experience of Parkinson’s is different.
Light Up Blue for Parkinson’s
This year, World Parkinson’s Day is encouraging people to Light Up Blue for Parkinson’s. The aim is to be blue, bright and bold whether it’s in your front room, a village hall or an iconic building, get your blue lights shining and start conversations about Parkinson’s.
If you’re participating from home you could decorate your windows in blue, this could be as simple as adding some old Christmas lights. Today (11 April), business around the UK are participating and iconic buildings will be lit up in blue to mark the event.
Poems for Parkinson’s
Alongside going blue on 11 April, Parkinson’s UK is asking people to get involved with Poems for Parkinson’s. This requires you to write five lines about your experience with Parkinson’s, whether it’s about you or a loved one. You can then share this on social media or with the people around you.