April is National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Personal Care for ParkinsonsIn the U.S. 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year

Learn more about this progressive disease

This April, Visiting Angels is proud to help increase awareness Parkinson’s disease during Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder. Almost 1 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s, including notable people such as Michael J. Fox, the late Muhammad Ali, and Billy Graham. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for Parkinson’s, and its cause is unknown.

Four Main Symptoms

  • 1. Tremor—shaking, trembling that affects hands, legs, or arms. This may be the first symptom.
  • 2. Stiff Muscles
  • 3. Slow Movement
  • 4. Balance or Walking Issues

Parkinson’s eventually affects all muscles in the body, leading to problems such as constipation or swallowing. In later stages, people may become expressionless or have difficulty speaking. Symptoms generally start between the ages of 50-60, but some start earlier. Men tend to be more affected than women.

Diagnosis
Parkinson’s disease cannot be diagnosed with a blood test. Rather, your doctor will perform a neurological exam which determine how well your nerves respond. An MRI may be used to rule out stroke or brain tumor.

Treatment
While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, medicines help control the symptoms. In some cases, the doctor may suggest a treatment called deep brain stimulation, where surgically placed wires in the brain are placed. Exercise, eating healthy, and getting rest will help you stay independent for as long as possible.

Resources

  • New Jersey American Parkinson’s Disease Association Information and Referral Center, 120 Albany Street, Suite 360, New Brunswick NJ 08901, (732) 745-7520, http://www.njapda.org
  • Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, www.pdf.org
  • National Parkinson Foundation, www.parkinson.org
  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, www.michaeljfox.org

Download our PDF for information on Stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Providing Care for Parkinson’s Disease, Safe Ideas for a Parkinson’s Home, and a Parkinson’s Word Search. Download the PDF for National Parkinson’s Disease Month.