Be sure to ask your doctor about them. Learn more
World Parkinson’s Day is a public health and awareness campaign that is supported by the European Parkinson’s Disease Association. It is for raising awareness of the disease and promoting a better understanding of the condition and how it affects a person and his family. This year, it will be on the 11th of April, 2015. Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells that transport the neurotransmitter dopamine to other cells. The number of such nerve cells decreases in number. When cell death spreads to bigger parts of the brain, more areas are affected which cause the different symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease typically develops gradually starting with a barely noticeable tremor in one hand. This is the most known sign of Parkinson’s disease. It also causes stiffness or slowing of movement. During the early stages of the disease, the face usually shows little expression but in other cases there is no expression at all. The swinging of arms when walking also tends to slow down or stop. Speech may also become softer or slurred. The symptoms get worse as the condition progresses over time. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but medications are available which work to improve the different symptoms. Occasionally, the doctor may suggest surgery for regulating specific regions of the brain to improve symptoms.
The public health and awareness campaign is essentially to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease. It also spreads awareness of the different effects of the disease on the person and his social network, especially family. It is for educating the public about the disease including the different signs and symptoms then the treatment options. There are non-motor side effects from the treatments that can take the form of impulse control disorders. These are psychiatric disorders that may include compulsive behaviors like compulsive gambling, addiction to sex and being a shopaholic.
In the European Union (EU) alone, about 1.2 million people have lives that are affected by Parkinson’s disease. Generally, the members of the public do not have enough information about the condition thus the need for education regarding the disease. According to an online survey five years ago by the European Parkinson’s Disease Association, more than 50% are not aware that Parkinson’s is a neurological condition that has an effect on movement. Moreover, over 75% of the people in the survey did not know that rigidity or being unable to move an important motor symptom of the disease.
Since many are not aware of the key symptoms of the disease, then it is more difficult to gather support for those affected by the condition. There is also a high chance that people are not aware of the symptoms of Parkinson’s and its side effects to those on medication. Thus, it is truly important to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and its different effects on the life of a person and his friends, family, co-workers, etc.
Parkinson’s disease is more common than people think and it can affect anyone. There are many negative effects of the disease on the person including his/her movement, speech, etc. The problem is that many people are not even aware of the disease including its initial symptoms. It also has many other effects not just on the patient but his/her immediate social network as well.