According to a recent study, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD) every six minutes, which amounts to 90,000 people every year. This is a 1.5 times increase from the previous estimate of 60,000 annual diagnoses.
The study revealed that age is the main risk factor for PD, with the incidence increasing, particularly in individuals 65 and older. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with PD than women, and certain geographical regions have higher incidence rates, including the Rust Belt, Southern California, Southern Texas, Central Pennsylvania, and Florida.
April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, and the Parkinson's Foundation encourages you to take six minutes to learn how to better manage and live with PD. This article covers essential topics and resources for people with Parkinson's and their care partners, as well as ways you can take six minutes for yourself or a loved one.
After being diagnosed with PD, it's normal to feel overwhelmed. However, educating yourself about the disease, setting personal goals, and building your PD care team can make the diagnosis more manageable. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for PD, and treatment plans are tailored to an individual's needs. Medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or psychotherapy may all be part of a PD care plan.
Exercise and a nutritious, balanced diet are crucial elements of a PD treatment plan. Regular physical activity can help manage symptoms and slow the decline in quality of life, while certain foods can ease symptoms and promote brain health.
Scientific and clinical research is helping to improve our understanding and treatment of PD. Genetic research is particularly promising, as it can help identify the biological pathways that cause PD, leading to better treatments and potential cures.
Staying connected with others living with PD is essential for maintaining a positive outlook and managing the condition. There are over 1 million people in the U.S. currently living with PD, and this number is expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2030. Get involved with your local PD community by joining wellness classes or support groups.
During Parkinson's Awareness Month, take the time to raise awareness on behalf of the 90,000 people diagnosed each year. You can take action by signing up for a webinar on PD research, calling the helpline for information and referrals, or sharing your PD story.
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