World Parkinson's Day takes place in April. April 11 is World Parkinson’s Day and throughout the month events are taking place all over the world to raise more awareness and vital funds for research to better treatments and ultimately a cure. Fundraising efforts play an integral role in helping advance research towards a cure.
People with Parkinson's can have tremors, slow movement, stiff limbs, and problems with walking and balance. They might also have depression and sleep problems, lose their sense of smell, and develop dementia.
Scientists know that people with Parkinson's have a severe lack of dopamine - a chemical in the brain involved with movement control. The brain cells that produce dopamine die in people who have Parkinson's. Medications can treat Parkinson's symptoms, however, none slow or reverse the disease's course.
A Columbia University study found that the immune system attacks dopamine-producing brain cells that accumulate an abnormal protein called alpha-synuclein in those who have Parkinson's disease. Immune-suppressing medications might one day protect those brain cells.
Northwestern University researchers found that oxidized dopamine accumulates in the brains of people with Parkinson's, slows down some brain activity, and leads to the death of brain cells, which causes more oxydation. When the researchers treated brain cells with anioxidants, it stopped the process that led to cell death and oxidation.
Michican State University found that the antidepressant drug nortriptyline stopped the growth of a protein that builds up in the brains of people with Parkinson's. When researchers examined medical records of people with both depression and Parkinson's, they found that those who took nortriptyline delayed starting standard medications for Parkinson's compared to people who took a different antidepressant or none at all.
Get involved in raising awareness of Parkinson's Disease. There are a few ways to get involved in April – by hosting your own event, becoming a corporate sponsor, or even hosting an event at your workplace. Just gather your friends, family or work colleagues and hold an event anytime during the month of April doing something you love! Perhaps a wine tasting, art exhibition, music gig or movie night to a morning/afternoon/high tea, sausage sizzle, long lunch, sporting event – whatever you are into, it doesn’t matter.
The awareness color for Parkinson's Disease is Silver.
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