National Parkinson’s Awareness Month
In 2010, April was designated Parkinson’s Awareness Month by the United States Senate. By designating Parkinson’s Awareness Month a national event, it is hoped that this observance will lead to more media coverage which in turn will gather further support for those affected.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition and after Alzheimer’s is the second most common disease in the United States. Neurodegnerative is a term which refers to a progressive loss of nerve cells (neurons) and/or their function. Neurodegeneration from Parkinson’s disease can give rise to a wide spectrum of symptoms; symptoms can vary widely between people in terms of their type and severity.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
- difficulties with balance, swallowing, chewing and speaking
- sleep disruption
- psychological issues including problems with cognition, anxiety and depression
One of the most noticeable symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is tremor in which the body makes involuntary quivering movements. As the disease progresses, symptoms can worsen.
The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown and there are no known successful treatments which can delay or stop its progression. To further complicate matters, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be mistaken for another condition. As Parkinson’s disease is so prevalent in society, Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month help support those affected by the disease whilst encouraging further research into finding a cure or adequate treatment.