Parkinson’s Awareness Week 2022: Everything you need to know about Parkinson's

Parkinson’s Awareness Week begins on April 10th and ends on April 16th in 2022.

By jimmy johnson
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 11:08 am

Parkinson’s is the world’s fastest growing neurological condition, in terms of the number of people who are diagnosed with it. It can creep up on you without you noticing and there is no known cure as of right now.

In England, between the years 2001 and 2014, approximately 31,000 people died of Parkinson’s, or complications caused by Parkinson’s.

To help put this condition further into the public light, Parkinson’s Awareness Week was established by Parkinson's UK, with educational events and activities taking place throughout the week.

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Roughly 145,000 people in the UK are affected by Parkinson's.

What are the causes of Parkinson’s and how can I help to prevent it?

It’s unclear as to what the exact causes of Parkinson’s are. Research has been conducted into the development of the condition, but it is still something we do not fully understand.

Evidence suggests that men are more likely to contract Parkinson’s than women. In 2020, 78,326 men aged 50 to 89 were reported to living with Parkinson’s, alongside 56,990 women.

Furthermore, Parkinson’s is far more common in older people than it is in young people, but it is not unheard of for a younger person to develop Parkinson’s.

Parkinson's can often lead to dementia and other neural conditions.

There is currently no concrete way to prevent Parkinson’s, but there are a few methods that may help to avoid it. One of these is regular aerobic exercise – this can include running, biking, swimming and playing sports. As well as this, some research indicates that caffeine consumption may help to prevent the condition.

In addition to this, some evidence suggests that prolonged exposure to pesticides and herbicides also increase your chances of contracting Parkinson’s.

How does Parkinson’s affect you?

Parkinson’s has over 40 different symptoms, which people living with the condition may or may not experience. The most common symptom of Parkinson’s is uncontrollable tremors, although some may encounter stiffness or rigidity in their muscles.

Some people living with Parkinson’s may encounter difficulty with eating and drinking, as it can affect the muscles that control your mouth (especially in its later stages).

Sleeping may also become an issue for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s. They may wake up at numerous times throughout the night, causing them to experience fatigue and even exhaustion during the day.

Parkinson’s itself is not fatal, but it can lead to complications, which often result in death. This can include dementia, amongst other neurological conditions.

Clumps of protein, known as Lewy bodies, have been found on the brains of people with Parkinson’s and dementia. When they accumulate, they can hinder your cognitive ability, as well as your motor skills and overall quality of life.

Further research into Lewy bodies may hold the answer to finding a cure for Parkinson’s – currently, they are the priority for those examining the condition.While Lewy bodies contain a few different substances, the one that may be responsible for causing Parkinson’s is alpha-synuclein, which human cells cannot break down.

While there is no known cure for the condition, a lot of progress has been made for improving the quality of life for those who have it.