Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Parkinson's Disease.

APRIL IS PARKINSON'S AWARENESS MONTH.

Both my grandfather and now my uncle have this disease. My grandfather was diagnosed in the late 1980's (he died 1992, he was 89); my uncle within the past month. I don't remember any medication being given to my grandfather; my uncle just started on one and seems to be reacting well to it. He is also undergoing chemo treatments. Lovely combination!!!

According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, about 1 million Americans have the disease; 96% are diagnosed after the age of 50. It is the 14th leading cause of death according to the Center for Disease Control.

Parkinson's is not all about tremors - People with Parkinson’s disease may have other motor problems such as rigidity, issues with posture, and overall slowness of movement. Furthermore, Parkinson’s disease can cause mental and cognitive problems as well. (picture from A Place for Mom site) People with Parkinson’s may have difficulty with planning, problem solving, and other complex tasks. Parkinson’s disease is even a cause of memory loss and dementia.

Recently,our administration awarded money to study the brain, called the BRAIN Initiative which will hopefully develop strategies to fight Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

There is a free toolkit you can download. For a detailed treatment with medications and therapies, take a look at Parkinson's Disease in the Elderly from the archives at the site of 'A Place for Mom'.

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