Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive illness that affects the nervous system and a person’s ability to move. Most people have heard of the disease and understand the basic symptoms but here are some facts provided by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation that many people do not know:

The cause is unknown. Although researchers do not know the cause, they believe environmental factors such as exposure to pollution, metals, pesticides, smoking or head trauma are associated with the beginning phases of the disease. Family history can also increase a person’s risk.

Gender and age are risk factors. Only four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50 and men are over 1.5 times more likely to develop the disease than women.

It is prevalent. An estimated ten million people worldwide live with PD. Over one million are from the United States with over 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

There is no cure. However, treatment is available to help relieve symptoms, such as prescription medications, modifications to lifestyle or surgical therapy.