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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting an estimated one million Americans. It’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate. Actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed at age 29. Boxing champion Muhammad Ali and country legend Johnny Cash had it, too. More people have PD than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) combined.
April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month. To bring awareness to this debilitating disease, we are taking a look at what PD is, its common symptoms, and how it’s currently treated.
What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
PD is a progressive neurological disorder affecting an individual’s coordination, speech, movement, and memory. It kills healthy brain cells called neurons. Men are twice as likely as women to develop Parkinson’s disease.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, an average of 60,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every year. Most people are diagnosed after the age of 60.
Since PD is a progressive disorder, symptoms worsen over time. While each person’s battle with the disease progresses differently, the most common symptoms and physical changes include the following:
Can Parkinson’s Disease Be Treated?
While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, there are steps people can take to manage current symptoms and potentially delay others.
If you or a senior loved one has Parkinson’s disease, the supportive environment of an assisted living community might help you live rich and meaningful days. Call Sunrise Senior Living at 888-434-4648 to learn more, and schedule a tour of a community near you.