World Parkinson’s Day took place this week on April 11th.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking and these progress over time. It affects one in 500 people – that’s just short of 130,000 people in the UK, and up to 14 million people worldwide.
Many of us, including myself, have had family members affected and know that there are now many different treatments that can be used to try to manage the symptoms and to help those with PD to manage to remain as fully functioning and as independent as possible. Locally we have the Regional Parkinson’s Advanced Symptom Unit or PASU that runs out of Redcar Hospital that recognises that when things are not going as well it can take a team of professionals including doctors, specialist Parkinson’s nurses, therapists and pharmacists to work together to help to manage the symptoms. Patients and families and carers continue to rate this new service very highly because it improves the lives of those most affected by PD. A local service to be proud of.