As the coronavirus pandemic evolves, we stay committed to providing you with the latest updates and ways you can stay engaged with the Parkinson’s community. Even though COVID-19 plays a role in our daily lives this month, April is still Parkinson’s Awareness Month and the Parkinson’s Foundation remains dedicated to bringing light to the prevalence of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson's Today Blog
Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is currently part of our daily lives, the Parkinson’s Foundation is addressing the top questions about the virus and Parkinson’s disease (PD). On March 18, 2020 Michael S. Okun, MD, Parkinson’s Foundation Medical Director, and Fred Southwick, MD, Infectious Disease Expert and Author, both from the University of Florida Health, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, answered the top COVID-19 questions from our community.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is now the world’s fastest growing brain disorder, even faster than Alzheimer’s. Ten million people live with Parkinson's world-wide. Over the past 25 years, the number of people with Parkinson’s has more than doubled. At this current rate, the number will double again in the coming generation. In the U.S., the number of Americans with the condition has increased by 35% in the last 10 years alone.
People describe William “Billy” Marsa, the co-founder of the Edythe and Herbert Kay Parkinson Chapter, as “a force of nature.” He’s as passionate today about helping people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) as he was when he began the local organization in 2008. This year marked a new beginning for the Chapter when it merged under the Parkinson’s Foundation on January 1. Billy’s passion and dedication ― united with the Parkinson’s Foundation broad reach ― expands their joint goal: making life better for people living with PD.
As the Parkinson’s Foundation celebrates the distribution of our 100,000th Aware in Care kit, we check in with our Aware in Care Ambassador, Myra Hirschhorn, to learn about her work educating health professionals and people with Parkinson’s about the Aware in Care kit and the importance of advocating for oneself through education in order to achieve safety across
Exercise is increasingly recognized as an important element in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). With the variety of exercise classes and programs available today, it can be difficult for a person with PD to navigate the exercise class that is right for them.
Parkinson’s Champions participate in the Parkinson’s Foundation community fundraising and endurance program who raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Together, Parkinson’s Champions have hosted more than 150 annual community fundraisers across the country, run more than 10,000 miles and raised more than $9.4 million to help make lives better for people living with Parkinson’s.
Who can become a Parkinson’s Champion?
One of the major genetic risk factors believed to contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is having a mutation in the gene called GBA1 (glucocerebrosidase). Unable to do its job correctly, this damaged gene leads to the build-up of unhealthy, misfolded clumps of alpha-synuclein in the brain. These clumps, called Lewy bodies, impact dopamine production and are the hallmark of PD. What if there was a way to prevent the build-up of Lewy bodies in the first place?
Stephanie De Santiago, DNP, AGNP-C, has a doctorate in nursing (DNP) and is an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner at Banner Sun Health Research Institute, where she specializes in movement disorders and cognitive neurology. She is also a faculty associate for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Arizona State University.
The Parkinson’s Foundation has provided funding to more than 550 researchers since 2010. These scientists and researchers receive Foundation awards to improve our understanding of Parkinson’s disease (PD), which will ultimately lead us to better treatments and a cure. We recently sat down with nine of them to get the latest highlights of their ongoing PD research: