Parkinson’s is diagnosed in 3 Australian’s under the age of 40 every day.
Parkinson’s is a progressive and degenerative neurological condition that affects a person’s ability to control their body’s movements. The condition progresses and affects everyone differently, and as such symptoms can vary from person to person.
Resulting from the loss of cells in various parts of the brain, depleting dopamine production; the motor system nerves become unable to control movement and coordination. The most commonly visible symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremors or shaking, but can also manifest in so many other forms, such as slowness of movement, muscle rigidity, speech changes, fatigue and sleep disturbances and mood disorders.
Parkinson’s Disease is commonly thought of as something that only affects older people, and ‘just the shakes’. Shake It Up Australia explains that this is such a common misconception, and the reality is much different:
- Parkinson’s is the second most common neurological disease in Australia after dementia.
- The disease affects an estimated 10 million individuals worldwide – 100,000 in Australia.
- 32 Aussies are diagnosed with the disease every day.
- 20% of sufferers are under 50 years old and 10% are diagnosed before the age of 40.
- The number of people with Parkinson’s has increased by 17% in the last six years with costs to the community increasing by over 48%.
- For comparison purposes the prevalence of Parkinson’s is greater than prostate, bowel and many other forms of cancer and the total number of Parkinson’s sufferers is 4 times the number of people suffering with MS.
There is currently no cure, however organisations like Parkinson’s Australia and Shake it Up Australia are working with researchers and others in the community to help find a cure, and also better treatments and support for people living with the condition.