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Parkinson’s not a joke

Wednesday November 22, 2006

Sarah Johnson

November 17, 2006(Ledger Dispatch) - If only our Parkinson’s symptoms weren’t real!

Anyone suffering from a progressive, degenerative neurological disease knows the heartbreak of recognizing how the disease robs us of our abilities sometimes slowly over time, sometimes quickly.

Those of us who are afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease face untold pain and loss as Parkinson’s Disease runs its course in each of us. Usually, we start with our movements slowing down, tremors shake one side of our body, our muscles become rigid, frequently an arm hangs useless and we drag one leg. Our handwriting gets smaller and smaller until it is unreadable. Our balance is off and we begin to fall. In fact, before treatment, many of us appear to have had a stroke.

Parkinson’s is a difficult disease to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. Parkinson’s Disease does not go into remission and currently has no cure. For many people, the symptoms disappear with medication, but for many others, the medications will cease to become effective at some point. The shaking, the violent twisting of the body, the frantic flailing of arms is not controllable in those whose medications have quit working. Is it any wonder that Parkinson’s patients don’t want to leave their homes? Who wants to be stared at and made fun of? Especially by a so-called media professional!

I wish it were possible to wish away my symptoms! I wish everyone who has this dreaded disease could have their movements controlled by medications. I wish those in the media who have suggested that we are "acting" would be taken off the air, taken out of print and be forbidden to speak again!

Recent News

May 20 - Book Review: Aging in the Key of Humor
May 19 - Press Release: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Joins Multinational Critical Path for Parkinson's Consortium
May 19 - Congress reaches deal to overhaul chemical regulation
May 16 - Lifestyle: Why Parkinson's disease won't stop me rowing across the Pacific
May 16 - Many biomarkers for PD fail to inform on progression
May 10 - Parkinson's Cell Transplant Shows Good Reinnervation at 24 Years
May 7 - Growing art installation gathers stories of living with Parkinson's
May 5 - New technique can provide better cell transplants against Parkinson's disease
May 2 - What's Good For The Heart Is Good For The Brain
Apr 29 - Press Release: FDA approves first drug to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease
Apr 28 - Dopamine-making neurons can be chemically controlled in animal model of Parkinson's
Apr 25 - Lifestyle: Dating with Disease
Apr 25 - Scientific breakthrough in fight against Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
Apr 20 - Breakthrough Parkinson's disease blood test
Apr 15 - Living with Parkinson's
Apr 12 - Tissue biomarker for dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease
Apr 11 - Yoga for Every Body: Experts say yoga can ease pain and improve mobility for people with neurologic conditions
Apr 9 - Commonly prescribed Parkinson's drugs up risk of compulsive gambling, shopping, binge eating, hypersexuality
Apr 7 - Pfizer and IBM Launch Innovative Research Project to Transform Parkinson's Disease Care
Apr 7 - Parkinson's Drug Highly Effective for Resistant Depression