Learn why we need to end parkinson’s disease today.
- 1. There is still no cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative neurological disease. Today, researchers have not yet found a cure. While advancements in treatment can improve the quality of life with those with the disease, those with the disease must navigate its ongoing impact on their health and well-being. The risk for many is high. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports, “Neurological conditions are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for 9 million deaths per year.”
- 2. It is the world’s fastest growing brain disease.
Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological disease on the planet and will surpass Alzheimer’s disease as the dominant neurological condition in the world within 20 years.
- 3. We’re seeing the start of a Parkinson’s Pandemic.
The Parkinson’s Foundation reports that over 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease. This is up from 2 million in 1990. Looking ahead, the number of diagnosed cases is projected to double by 2040. As Parkinson’s reach continues to grow, it falls well under the scientific definition of a global pandemic.
- 4. Anyone can be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is indiscriminate regarding gender, sex, ethnicity, age and geography. Up to 10% of People with Parkinson’s are diagnosed in their 40’s or younger.
- 5. The disease affects much more than your movement.
Parkinson’s is more than a motor disease, there are more than 40 possible symptoms impacting mood, sleep, pain, gut health, constipation. These symptoms affect quality life more than tremor and other motor symptoms. Many symptoms — including depression and loss of speech — are often invisible to others, further isolating those with the disease.
- 6. Living with the disease means living with its stigma.
Parkinson’s is a misunderstood disease and lack of awareness makes people with Parkinson’s vulnerable and discriminated against. People with Parkinson’s earn less money, have difficulty obtaining and retaining employment despite qualifications and ability. They often have to retire early. Due to the symptoms of the disease, many are often mistaken for being intoxicated and in some countries are cursed by witches. Parkinson’s can mean living in constant pain. They often lose their voice, their confidence, the luxury of sleep and their ability to control their automatic functions, their limbs, and their future.
- 7. The last big medical breakthrough was in the 1970s.
Gold standard treatment, Levodopa, is more than 50 years old and remains inaccessible to more than 1/3 of the countries worldwide. Every two and a half minutes, someone dies from Parkinson’s.
- 8. Common toxins linked to Parkinson’s are still legal.
Paraquat is among the toxins linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s. It kills the weeds that Roundup can’t. In the U.S. alone in 2018, over 15 million pounds of the toxin were sprayed on farms across the country. One teaspoon will kill a human being. 32 countries have banned the toxic weed killer, including China. It remains legal in North America where more than seven million pounds of paraquat are sprayed on food crops annually.
- 9. For most, Parkinson’s is likely preventable.
Certain pesticides, industrial chemicals, and air pollution are all likely fueling the rise of the disease. Areas of the world undergoing the most rapid industrialization have the fastest growing rates of the disease. We can ban chemicals linked to the disease, clean up contaminated sites, clean up the air and all breathe easier.
- Let’s give future generations world free of Parkinson’s
We live in a world where polio is rare, HIV is treatable and preventable, and drunk driving is socially unacceptable. These are gifts that we received from previous generations. It is time to reciprocate.