Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a non-contagious progressive movement
disease that is caused by the destruction of nerve cells in a certain
part of the brain. Patients with PD have a shortage of the chemical
substance dopamine, which allows for a natural ease of movement.
Over one million people in the United States have Parkinson's Disease.
Tremors, rigidity (stiffness), bradykinesia (slow movements), poor
balance and walking problems can be symptoms of PD. Some individuals
may also have cognitive problems such as memory, thinking, and reasoning.
Other possible symptoms include depression, speech problems, swallowing
problems, problems with writing, sleep disorders, anxiety, and skin
problems as well as several others.
PD typically has five stages.
Stage I: Only one side of the body is affected.
Stage II: Both sides of the body are affected.
Stage II: Patient has difficulty with balance.
Stage IV: Patient cannot walk without assistance; other symptoms
Stage V: Patients must use a wheelchair.
Although typically found in people over 60 years old, it has also
been found in persons younger than 40. There are approximately 50,000
new cases reported each year.
A variety of medications are often used in combination for treating
symptoms. It is important that you remain under the care of a physician,
since the medicines need to be monitored by a professional. There
is a range of side effects that can sometimes appear at the beginning
stages of taking a medication and then diminish. Side effects for
other medications may not appear until several years after beginning
their use. There are also surgical procedures that can be helpful
if treatment with medicine is ineffective.
Eating nutritional meals and exercising regularly as suggested
by your physician are important to your well-being. If needed, you
may be referred for physical therapy, occupation therapy, and/or
Support groups are an important source of not only support but
also information for both patients and their families. There are
several local support groups from which to choose.
Midwest Parkinson's Awareness Group
P.O. Box 2785
Alliance, OH 44601
Phone: (330) 829-2964
Whipple and Dressler Roads
North Canton, Ohio
Contacts: George and Helen Tsarwhas (330) 499-4649 GGTHT221@aol.com
Meets: The 2nd Wednesday of the month (No meetings Dec- Feb) 2:00
Parkview Church of Christ
1912 Burbank Road
Contact: Elsie Lawrence (330) 264-4271) email@example.com
Meets: The 3rd Monday of the month (No meeting in December) 1:30
Parkinson's Disease Foundation
710 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032-9982
National Parkinson's Foundation
1501 Northwest 9th Street
Miami, Florida 33136-1407