Unite for Parkinson's - World Parkinson's Disease Day

Unite for Parkinson's - World Parkinson's Disease Day

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Highlights:
  • World Parkinson's Disease Day is observed annually on the 11th April worldwide to educate and raise awareness about this condition.
  • Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological condition marked by tremor, rigidity and movement difficulties and currently has no cure.
  • Approximately a 10 million persons worldwide are affected by PD, which is also the second most common age related neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer's disease.

History of World Parkinson's Day

World Parkinson's Disease Day (WPDD) was founded on the 11th April 1997 - the birth anniversary of Dr James Parkinson. Dr Parkinson was born on the 11th April 1755 and is renowned for his essay 'An Essay on the Shaking Palsy' in 1817, which was the first to recognize Parkinson's as a medical condition.
Unite for Parkinson's - World Parkinson's Disease Day

WPDD started as a joint initiative between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA) to raise awareness about this progressive neurological condition.†

This year marks the 22nd edition of the WPDD is being observed with the theme "Unite for Parkinson's", calling upon people from all walks of life to lend support for the common goal of raising awareness about PD and to improve
the quality of life of patients and their families.

Important Milestones in WPDD Over The Years

  • The inaugural WPDD in 1997 laid down clear guidelines about rights of patient's with the disease. It was supported by influential persons from across the world including HRH Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, UK prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, Pope John Paul II, and opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.
  • In 2005, the ninth WPDD marked the 250th birth anniversary of James Parkinson and the Luxembourg association established the Red Tulip as the official symbol of the disease.†
  • In 2008, in a unique experiment, the Danish chapter of EPDA filled an apartment with thousands of polystyrene balls to reproduce the movement difficulties experienced by PD patients and to make normal persons to understand what it was like to live with the disease.†
  • In 2014 a two meter high shoe was placed in Piccadilly Circus in London with the theme 'Put yourself in my shoes' to correct public misconceptions about the disease.
In 2015, the World Parkinson's Program announced the winners of the Dr Rana International Parkinson's Community Service Award for the year 2014. The award recognizes the outstanding contribution of individuals from around the world to the cause of Parkinson's disease.

What We Can Do To Raise Awareness About Parkinson's Disease

There are several ways we can choose to make our contribution to raise awareness about Parkinson's disease:
  • Using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to post and share messages about the disease or posting the campaign theme message for 2018 "Unite for Parkinson's".
  • Persons with PD can share their experiences on social media and provide inspiration and hope to persons affected and their families.
  • Carry prominent messages and information about PD in local/national newspaper and other media.
  • Distribute pamphlets or information leaflets about PD to the public at prominent locations in your neighborhood such as parks, malls, and other popular spots.
  • Organize or host a webinar/seminar about PD featuring prominent speakers in your organization or institution.
  • Get the local administration and authorities involved and urge them to make patient-friendly policies to improve the quality of life for them and their families.
  • Doctors and clinics can offer free check-ups for the elderly on this day, as well as display prominent messages about the condition in their premises to raise awareness and educate the public about this condition.
  • Organize a fundraiser or sporting event in your community. The awareness color for Parkinson's disease is silver and silver colored bracelets, wrist bands, silver themed mugs and other trinkets can be sold and proceeds donated for PD research.

About Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative condition in which nerve cells that deliver the neurotransmitter dopamine to other cells are decreased in numbers. It occurs more commonly in the elderly. It is associated with the physical symptoms such tremor, difficulty in movement, involuntary movements or rigidity. There is currently no cure and treatment aims at alleviating the symptoms.

Living with Parkinson's Disease

  • Learn as much as possible and stay informed about the condition
  • Eat a balanced nutritious diet; avoid constipation
  • Exercise regularly to keep the muscles strong and flexible
  • Making changes in the house to be able to function independently
  • Learning to prevent falls and maintain balance
  • Become part of a support group and learn from others experiences
  • Families and caregivers need to have self-care measures in place to overcome fatigue and exhaustion
  • Be regular with medications and carry your medicine supply when traveling
References :
  1. Life-Changing Care - (https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/about-us/life- changing-care)
  2. Dr Parkinson's birthday - a date to remember - (http://parkinsonslife.eu/dr-parkinsons-birthday-a-date-to-remember/)
Source: Medindia

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