April is Parkinson's Awareness Month

The National Parkinson Foundation has declared April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. As part of this campaign to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease, the Foundation lists on its website a full Calendar of Events scheduled to take place this month, and suggests a list of 30 actions you can take to make a difference.

According to the Foundation, an estimated 50,000-60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are diagnosed each year in the United States alone, and an estimated 4 to 6 million people suffer from the condition world-wide, one million of whom are in the U.S.

Parkinson’s disease is defined by the Foundation as “a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. When approximately 60 to 80% of the dopamine-producing cells in the brain are damaged, and do not produce enough dopamine, the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear.” Further information on the disease is provided on the Foundation’s website.

The National Parkinson’s Foundation stresses that, “There is hope, however, as scientists work towards a cure and make progress in identifying the best treatment options for patients.” The Foundation urges people to learn more about PD now during Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and find out how you can help.

The Calendar of Events scheduled for this month is listed on the Foundation’s website. It includes, among others:

  • Wednesday, April 6, 2011 — a Free Online Webinar for those suffering from Parkinson’s, given by William Marks, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco;
  • Friday, April 8, 2011 and Saturday, April 9, 2011 — Educate. Inspire. Empower: PRO Annual Conference, a Dinner (Friday) and Annual Educational Conference (Saturday) in Eugene, Oregon, sponsored by Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon;
  • Saturday, April 9, 2011 — 2nd Annual Pounding the Pavement for Parkinson’s event in Boca Raton, Florida, benefiting the South Palm Beach Chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation;
  • Thursday, April 14, 2011 — “Concepts in Creativity & Caregiving: PD in 2011,” a Parkinson’s Resource Fair in Chicago, Illinois, organized by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago;
  • Saturday, April 16, 2011 — 17th Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York, New York, benefiting seven major US Parkinson’s organizations; and
  • Throughout the Month of April — Many other events benefiting Parkinson’s research and raising awareness of PD, throughout the U.S.

The National Parkinson Foundation also invites you to download their many Publications on Parkinson’s, including Medical Alerts, quarterly Parkinson Reports, Checklists, and Manuals on PD, caring for PD patients, and coping with the disease.

The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) is a non-profit organization with the mission to “improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education and outreach.” Founded in 1957, it is a leading national organization with an extensive network of Centers of Excellence, chapters and support groups in the United States, Canada and internationally. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $155 million in care, research and support services.

For more information on April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month or on Parkinson’s Disease, visit the Foundation’s website at » National Parkinson Foundation — Celebrate Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

For further information on Parkinson’s Disease, see the HelpingYouCare™ resource pages on Parkinson’s Disease, under our section on AnswersForCare™ – Medical Conditions Commonly Faced by Seniors

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