Governor Snyder proclaimed April as Parkinson's Awareness Month. View Proclamations on www.michigan.gov
Join local Parkinson Support Groups in celebrating the lives of those living with PD.
April has been proclaimed Parkinson's Awareness Month by Governor Snyder for the State of Michigan. The disease is a chronic, neurological condition that progresses slowly, with no known cause or cure. The many symptoms can be managed successfully for many years by using a combination of medications. Recently, the advances of surgery (deep brain stimulation) have provided another avenue of treatment. People with Parkinson's do not die of the disease, but their lives and those of their families are altered greatly.
Parkinson's Disease (PD) affects approximately two percent of the population older than 60. It can also strike younger people like Michael J. Fox. About 10 percent of individuals with Parkinson's are diagnosed before the age of 50. an estimated 30,000 people in Michigan have PD. The cost to Michigan is more than $200 million a year.
Edwin B. George, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Parkinson Foundation (MPF), said, "Parkinson's Awareness Month provides us with an opportunity to educate the public on this disease, whom it affects and what can be done for them. Researchers continue to study PD, looking for causes and the best ways to help patients with it."
It is being recognized that Parkinson's disease is more than a "movement disorder." Often, non-motor symptoms begin many years before the appearance of tremor at rest, rigidity of muscles, slowness of movement and problems with balance. These include sleep difficulties, constipation, depression and a loss of small and can affect a person's quality of life significantly. Obtaining a diagnosis can take years and be very frustrating and frightening. Once a diagnosis is made, getting the best possible treatment with appropriate medications, exercise, rehabilitative therapies and mental health counseling can make a great difference in the ability to live life to its fullest. Despite the best treatment, PD is progressive. Family members are impacted and may become caregivers for decades.
The Michigan Parkinson Foundation (MPF) offers a variety of services across the state focusing on providing direct services and support to people with Parkinson's and their families. There are over 55 affiliated support groups to help families learn more about disease management techniques and how to improve the quality of their lives. Limited funding is available through the MPF to assist individuals in need pay for Parkinson's medications and for adult day care. MPF also sponsors education programs for individuals with Parkinson's and for healthcare professionals, in an ongoing effort to influence the care of people with PD. MPF can refer people to specialists with knowledge of the disease and to other community resources.
For more information about Parkinson's disease, contact the Michigan Parkinson Foundation at 800-852-9781 or view the website at www.parkinsonsmi.org
The Michigan Parkinson Foundation is a non-profit organization, funded primarily by private contributions, memorials and grants.