Parkinson’s disease refers to a condition, where a portion of the brain is damaged progressively over a period of many years. In essence, Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition, in which the brain cells are destroyed progressively. The three principal symptoms of the disease are linked to movement; tremor, muscle stiffness, and bradykinesia. Other symptoms are not related to movement. These include dysphagia, daytime sleepiness, and depression.
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Who it affects most
Parkinson’s disease mostly affects individuals in their late and middle years. This includes people between fifty and seventy-five years. However, approximately twenty percent of the diagnosed cases include people aged between thirty and fifty years. Hence, age is a major risk factor for the disease. The average onset age is sixty years. It is also worth noting that there is a significant increase in the incidence as age increases (Gandhi et al, 2009: 630).
Early onset of the disease is genetic or as a result of gene mutations. Every year, approximately fifty thousand Americans are spotted with Parkinson’s disease (Surmeier, 2007: 930). However, it is impossible to give an exact number since the majority of the people with Parkinson’s disease symptoms never seek medical attention. This is because they assume the symptoms are as a result of aging. Moreover, diagnosis is usually uncertain and difficult. Therefore, there is a confusion of Parkinson’s disease with other conditions.
Parkinson’s disease affects fifty percent more males than females. Irrespective of the fact that the disease is a global pandemic, it is more common in developed countries. Extreme exposure to toxins and pesticides may result in Parkinson’s disease. People residing in urban areas have a higher prevalence, similar to people in particular professions (Betarbet et al, 2000).
Organizations involved in the Cure, Treatment, and Support
Parkinson’s UK is a charity organization that specializes in research and support. For approximately forty years, the organization has been seeking for a cure of Parkinson’s disease and improving the lives of those affected. The organization is aware of the high incidence and is ready to assist everybody suffering from the disease. Patients, caregivers, and families are organized into local groups, where comprehensive training and information is offered. The organization leads campaigns aimed at transforming attitudes and requesting for better services.
The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF)
For a period of fifty years, NPF has concentrated on catering for the treatment and care needs of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. The organization has offered more than 172 million dollars for support, research, and care services.
WebMD: Parkinson’s Disease Health Centre
WebMD offers various discussions and research topics. People can contribute and give life experiences. Moreover, education resources are available for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Major topics include prevalence, incidence, symptoms, management, and treatment of the disease. Moreover, the organization offers resources and support services.
MedlinePlus organization offers information about Parkinson’s disease and other conditions. It has been a source of inspiration for many people. Patients are educated on various topics, and especially management and treatment. Moreover, patients are organized into groups, where they can share their experiences.
Netdoctor also researches various diseases but has a keen interest in Parkinson’s disease. People are educated on how to detect and cope with the disease. Counseling services are also offered to the patient and families.
Betarbet, R., Sherer, T. B., MacKenzie, G., Garcia-Osuna, M., Panov, A. V., & Greenamyre, J. T. (2000). Chronic systemic pesticide exposure reproduces features of Parkinson’s disease. Nature neuroscience, 3(12), 1301-1306. Web.
Gandhi, S., Wood-Kaczmar, A., Yao, Z., Plun-Favreau, H., Deas, E., Klupsch, K. & Abramov, A. Y. (2009). PINK1-associated Parkinson’s disease is caused by neuronal vulnerability to calcium-induced cell death. Molecular cell, 33(5), 627-638. Web.
Surmeier, D. J. (2007). Calcium, ageing, and neuronal vulnerability in Parkinson’s disease. The Lancet Neurology, 6(10), 933-938. Web.