Parkinson’s Disease
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The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 define Parkinson’s disease as a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. The symptoms also include bradykinesia (slow movement) and postural instability.

  • India is home to approximately 7 million elders with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). 
  • The condition usually exhibits in patients after the age of 50, and the incidence increases with advancing age. 
  • PD is assumed to afflict men twice as much as women. 
  • The symptoms emerge slowly, and the most obvious ones are, shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and changes in speech. 

But it’s not like people under 50 don’t get Parkinson’s. Award winning Hollywood actor, Michael J Fox was only 30 when he was diagnosed with PD. But he continued acting! He also took to activism by establishing The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. 

  • Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. 
  • It may be caused by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain but the exact causes of PD are unknown. It may have both genetic and environmental components. 
  • Some scientists think that viruses can trigger Parkinson’s as well. 
  • Abnormal proteins called Lewy bodies have also been found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s. 

As Parkinson's disease progresses, some individuals may experience difficulty with communication and other activities of daily living too. Assistive technology can help to overcome these challenges.

Physical therapy and exercise can also help manage the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, improving mobility and quality of life. 

  • Despite the challenges they face, people with Parkinson's disease can and do live fulfilling and meaningful lives. 
  • Engaging in creative activities can be a way to express themselves and connect with others. 
  • Support groups and advocacy organizations also provide a sense of community and resources for people living with Parkinson's disease and their families.

Some of the other well known people with Parkinson's Disease are:

  • Adolf Hitler
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Salvador Dali
  • Mao Zedong.

The Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Society founded by Dr B.S. Singhal is a pioneer organization working with Parkinson's patients in India.

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