What is Parkinson’s disease (PD)? Over 10 million people globally live with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Many Americans will recognize the celebrity spokesperson for this condition, Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with PD in the early 1990s. World Parkinson’s Day falls on April 11th, and everyone impacted by the illness is invited to share their story to help raise awareness of PD.
As one of the most common and devastating neurological conditions, many Americans, especially seniors, are living with symptoms related to Parkinson’s. If you or an older loved one is looking for long-term care and residence and lives with PD, keep Ventana in mind while searching for health services in Dallas for seniors.
What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a condition that is caused when the cells that make dopamine, a vital neurotransmitter, either stop functioning or die off. PD is often called a movement disorder because it causes uncontrolled movements and tremors, but the lack of dopamine causes many other symptoms. Some of these symptoms are:
- Movement problems – One of the symptom types that is usually first to be noticed, tremors, moving slowly, rigidity of limbs, and trouble walking are all signs of PD.
- Cognitive issues – Dopamine is also responsible for several brain functions related to emotions and decision-making. Therefore, people with PD can often experience neuropsychiatric symptoms such as anxiety, psychosis, and depression.
- Dementia – Over time, people with PD can experience a breakdown of their ability to learn new information, recall information, and orient themselves.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms – PD can cause upper and lower GI tract issues, ranging from difficulty swallowing to constipation.
PD is a degenerative disease, meaning symptoms get worse as time passes. Because dopamine is vital to many different body and brain functions, a wide range of symptoms can emerge as less of the neurotransmitter becomes available.
Facts to Know About Parkinson’s Disease
Here are some facts to know about Parkinson’s disease:
- The cause of PD is still unknown. Currently, the most popular theory is that there is a complicated relationship between genetic and environmental factors. Some research has suggested a link to exposure to certain pesticide types.
- PD is the second most common neurodegenerative condition, following only Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly 80% of people diagnosed with PD will develop dementia.
- Along with actor Michael J. Fox, several other famous people have had PD. These include boxer Muhammed Ali, Olympic cyclist Davis Phinney, and comedian Robin Williams.
Since PD is so common, the general public can benefit from knowing more about the disease.
About April 11th, World Parkinson’s Day
April 11th was designated as World Parkinson’s Day as a nod to Dr. James Parkinson, who first described the symptoms of PD in 1817. The World Health Organization and the European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) established World Parkinson’s Day on Parkinon’s birthday in 1997.
If Parkinson’s disease has impacted you or someone you love, share your story on social media using the hashtags #WorldParkinson’sDay and #TheSpark. Only by raising awareness can we all work together to end Parkinson’s disease for future generations.
Find Senior Living and Care in Dallas, Texas, at Ventana
When searching for health services for seniors in Dallas, Ventana is at the top of the list. Our senior living community in Texas provides care at all levels, from independent seniors who want someone else to manage the details to our members who need full-time nursing care. Each member contributes something vital and valuable to our community, and we are honored to be entrusted with their care. If you or a loved one has been considering moving to a community of vibrant, active seniors, contact Ventana today at 214.225.6197.