April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month and this year’s theme is #Plan4PD. What does that mean? Each and every day with Parkinson’s disease can feel different. Having a plan in place today to better prepare us for the challenges that Parkinson’s may present can help us plan for a world without Parkinson’s tomorrow. What can you do to help plan? Check out this helpful calendar filled with daily tips and actionable items that you can share with a loved one or friend.
Understanding Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder. The disease affects the dopamine-producing neurons that are responsible for signaling the brain to move. Persons diagnosed either have low levels of dopamine-producing neurons or have an absence of them.
Early stages of PD include loss of smell, writing that grows smaller over time, and a minor tremor in your finger, thumb, hand, or chin while at rest.
The disease progression of Parkinson’s differs for each person and develops slowly. There are five stages of the disease that range from zero (no symptoms) to 5, which is the highest progression of PD. While the disease itself is not fatal, complications from the disease can be serious. Generally, common symptoms after onset can include:
- Tremor – Mainly at rest. Looks like “pill-rolling”. This mimics the movement of holding a pill between your thumb and forefinger, and rolling it around continuously.
- Bradykinesia – Slowness of movement.
- Limb Rigidity – Stiffness in arms or legs.
- Gait/Balance Problems – Trouble walking or maintaining balance.
You Can Help Make A Difference
At Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida, we are committed to working with patients to find current treatments that will deliver the most impactful results and working to develop potential new options through clinical studies. It is our goal to help find better prevention and therapy options for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. If you or someone your love has been diagnosed with PD, celebrate Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month and learn more about our upcoming studies by clicking HERE.