In the time it takes to listen to a few songs on your MP3 player, catch up on your Twitter feed or read your friends’ status updates on Facebook, one more person has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
New York (PRWEB) April 12, 2010
In the time it takes to listen to a few songs on your MP3 player, catch up on your Twitter feed or read your friends’ status updates on Facebook, one more person has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Every nine minutes someone in the United States (U.S.) is diagnosed with this potentially devastating and debilitating illness.
Although there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, research continues aggressively with the help of fundraisers, such as the Parkinson’s Unity Walk (PUW). Every April the PUW unites the strength and spirit of the seven major U.S. Parkinson’s disease organizations, as the entire Parkinson’s community gathers in New York City’s Central Park with the goal of not only raising awareness of the condition, but of raising donations for research. This year’s PUW is Saturday, April 24.
Since its inception, the PUW has raised more than $10 million for Parkinson’s research, with 100 percent of donations going to research. At the first walk in 1994 there were 200 participants who raised $16,000. In 2009, more than 10,000 people came from across the U.S. and raised $1.5 million to fight to cure Parkinson’s disease and to connect with others whose lives are affected by the disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition, impacting movement, which can be debilitating. It affects one million Americans, with approximately 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The disease does not discriminate based on ethnic, economic or geographic factors, and while the average age of a person diagnosed with the disease is 60, many are under 50, and some may even be diagnosed as early as 20 years old.
Although the disease generally progresses slowly, over time even the most basic daily routines, like socializing with friends and family members, earning a living, and taking care of a home, may be affected. As the disease progresses, activities of daily living, like brushing one’s teeth or buttoning a shirt, may gradually require more assistance. In addition, people with Parkinson’s disease may also experience loss of facial expression, impaired speech, loss of mobility, and difficulty swallowing.
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