Parkinson’s Awareness Week

This year Parkinson’s Awareness Week will be taking place from Monday 9th April 2018 until Sunday 15th April 2018. This is an annual opportunity to come together and raise awareness of Parkinson’s across the UK. World Parkinson’s Day will be taking place on Wednesday 11th April 2018 and this will be a global effort to raise awareness of Parkinson’s.


How can you get involved with Parkinson’s Awareness Week?

Make a Donation

• Fundraising

Volunteer

Become a campaigner

Become a member

Parkinson’s in your workplace

Take part in research

World Parkinson’s Day

• Get Involved on social media


What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease affects the way you move. Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects how the person moves, including how they speak and write. It happens when there is a problem with certain nerves in your brain. Normally, these nerve cells make an important chemical called dopamine. Dopamine sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement. It lets your muscles move smoothly and do what you want them to do. When you have Parkinson's, these nerve cells break down. Then you no longer have enough dopamine, and you have trouble moving the way you want to. Parkinson's is progressive, which means it gets worse over time. But usually this happens slowly, over many years. And there are good treatments that can help you live a full life.


What are the Risk Factors of Parkinson’s Disease?

• Age- Young adults rarely experience Parkinson’s disease. It usually begins in middle or later life and the risk increases as you get older. People over the age of 60 are more likely to develop the condition.

• Genetics- Having a close relative with Parkinson’s disease increases your risk of developing the disease.

• In relation to gender men are more susceptible to developing Parkinson’s disease

• If you have experienced one or more small strokes then you are at higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease as more of your brain cells and nerves become increasingly damaged over a period of time as each small stroke would affect different nerves.


What are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

• Tremor, which means shaking or trembling and can affect your hands, arms and legs

• Stiff muscles

• Slow movement

• Problems with balance or walking

• Impaired cognitive skills

• Nerve pain

• Loss of sense of smell or hearing

parkinson's disease risk factors and symptomsparkinson's diseaseparkinson's diagram


How is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed?

Your doctor will do a diagnosis based on your symptoms, medical history and a detailed physical examination. Your GP will talk to you about the problems you are experiencing and may ask you to perform some simple mental or physical tasks, such as moving or walking around to help with the diagnosis. If your GP suspects you have Parkinson’s disease then they will refer you to a specialist. This will usually be a neurologist (specialist in conditions affecting the brain and nervous system). The neurologist will most likely ask you to perform a number of physical exercises so they can assess whether you have any problems with movement of the nerves.


What Treatments are available for Parkinson’s?

There is a variety of different treatments available to help manage the condition of Parkinson’s. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/treatment/

Parkinson’s UK is a charitable organisation which helps to provide support to people who have been confirmed and diagnosed as suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Their main vision is to find a cure, and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s. The charity does their best in supporting people who are affected by Parkinson’s and to help others be aware of the symptoms, get diagnosed and treated early enough.