South East King County Parkinson’s Support Group
Do you know someone struggling with Parkinson’s? They are not alone! We are here to support them and their caregivers!
Monthly Meetings on 3rd Tuesday of Every Month at 10:30am
Please contact Stephanie for additional information at 256-630-0123
To provide information to PD individuals and their caregivers in South East King County.
To reach those who have isolated themselves from public and encourage social and business activities.
To promote knowledge, exercise and fun.
Who Has Parkinson’s?
As many as one million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, and this number does not reﬂect the thousands of cases that go undetected. An estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease.
Incidence of Parkinson’s increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before the age of 50. Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.
How is PD Treated?
Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Instead, therapy is directed at treating the symptoms that are most bothersome to an individual with Parkinson’s disease. For this reason, there is no standard or “best” treatment for Parkinson’s disease that applies to every patient. NPF is currently gathering the data to develop an individualized best approach to patient care. Treatment approaches include medication and surgical therapy. Other treatment approaches include general lifestyle modiﬁcations (rest and exercise), physical therapy, support groups, occupational therapy and speech therapy. In this section, you will become more familiar with the different types of medications commonly prescribed for PD, other alternative therapies, and surgical treatment options. Recent studies have implicated that a treatment is better than no treatment. In other words, medications and therapies may modify the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over age 60. While the average age at onset is 60, people have been diagnosed as young as 18. There is no objective test, or biomarker, for Parkinson’s, so the rate of misdiagnosis can be relatively high, especially when the diagnosis is made by a non-specialist. Estimates of the number of people living with the disease therefore vary, but recent research indicates that at least one million people in the United States, and more than ﬁve million worldwide, have Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease was ﬁrst characterized extensively by an English doctor, James Parkinson, in 1817. Today, we understand Parkinson’s to be a disorder of the central nervous system that results from the loss of cells in various parts of the brain, including a region called the substantia nigra. The substantia nigra cells produce dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals within the brain that allow for coordination of movement. Loss of dopamine causes neurons to ﬁre without normal control, leaving patients less able to direct or control their movement. Parkinson’s is one of several diseases categorized by clinicians as movement disorders.
Exercise is Vital
Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. However, for people with PD exercise is not only healthy, but a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities. In fact did you know exercise could actually help slow the progression of PD? Learn more about the neuroprotective benefits of exercise as well as what types of exercise are the most beneficial for people with PD.
Find more information on Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s Research at the following web sites:
- Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation
- Parkinson’s Disease Information
- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
- American Parkinson Disease Association
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