The National Parkinson Foundation estimates that 50,000 to 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are diagnosed in the United States each year,1 but an accurate diagnosis can take up to six years. Many mistakenly attribute the first symptoms of PD to the normal aging process. One study has estimated that by 2030 those afflicted will increase to between 8.7 and 9.3 million,2 which will, in turn, place additional demands on the delivery of cost-effective medical care.
World Parkinson’s Day is held on 11 April each year. On this day in April, which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, individuals will be fundraising and hosting awareness events to educate those affected by PD as well as the general public.
What are the challenges of PD diagnosis? What activities can help connect patients and caregivers? These questions and more will be answered by Angel Duncan and Monica Kurtis in a 30-minute Google Hangout scheduled for Thursday 10 April at 3:30pm GMT, 10:30am ET. You can submit your question on twitter to @GEHealthcare using #MoveMINDs. Click here to save the date on your calendar or click on the video below to view the event that is scheduled for Thursday 10 April at 3:30pm GMT, 10:30am ET.
PD belongs to a class of neurological disorders that include Alzheimer’s disease, post traumatic stress disorder, concussion, traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis. More specifically, PD belongs in a class of movement disorders or hyperkinetic movement disorders, AD is in the class of dementias and PTSD is an anxiety disorder. PD is a chronic neurological disease caused by the loss of dopamine in the brain. Motor symptoms include: slowness of movement and difficulty with fine movements. Non motor symptoms include depression and cognitive changes. The average age of onset is 60, but it can affect younger people. There is currently no cure.3
Online Resources for Patients and Caregivers
The MIND website provides useful information for those who want to learn more about Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and essential tremor. It also offers advice on the benefits of movement as well as resources to support caregivers and patients.
A free iPad app, called GE MIND, is now available to provide mental stimulation to those affected by neurological disorders. Through music and art, users can engage in activities on both an emotional and physical level, resulting in a stimulating experience for the user.
1 – http://www.parkinson.org/parkinson-s-disease.aspx
3 – Kurtis M, Martinez-Martin P. Parkinson’s Disease: symptoms, unmet needs and new therapeutic targets. In: Martinez A, Gil C, editors. Emerging drugs and targets for Parkinson’s disease. London: Royal Society of Chemistry; 2013.