This week is Parkinson’s Awareness Week with local groups organising events across the country and in the north east.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition. People don’t have enough of the chemical, dopamine, because specific nerve cells inside their brain have died for unknown reasons.
The symptoms are tremor, muscle stiffness and slowness of movement. Tiredness, pain, depression and constipation are also common.
But not everyone will experience all of these symptoms.
It doesn’t directly cause death, but symptoms worsen over time. Eating, dressing, or using a phone or computer are increasingly difficult or frustrating.
Every hour, someone in the UK is diagnosed with Parkinson’s. One person in 500 has it, or about 127,000 people nationwide. Most are aged 50 or over but younger people can get it too. There is no cure.
The charity, Parkinson’s UK, wants urgent action to unlock the promise of research developments that could expedite better treatments.
It is trying to raise desperately needed funds to revolutionise Parkinson’s research on the 200th year of the condition first being recognised.
Some new drugs have been developed but so far none can slow down or stop the spread of the condition.
The charity also highlights a shocking unawareness of the challenges sufferers face, with a lack of effective medication meaning nothing can stop its progression and the worsening of symptoms.
Their motto is we won’t wait any longer. All power to their elbow. To find out more about the campaign, visit parkinsons.org.uk