Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Understanding the Progression of Parkinson's

Can you predict the progression of Parkinson's? ... or change its course?

Last Tuesday, during PDF's PD ExpertBriefing, "Understanding the Progression of Parkinson's," presenter Dr. Ron Pfeiffer had a few suggestions:
  • Dr. Pfeiffer provided facts about PD progression - about the percentage of people with PD who develop certain symptoms or leave their jobs after a certain number of years - but also emphasized that these are general facts.  Each person's journey with Parkinson's is very different.
  • He noted that there are no treatments proven to reverse PD, but he also emphasized there are actions people can take, such as exercising and joining support groups, that may improve life with PD. (In fact, there is extensive research into exercise right now.)
He also stressed that the picture of Parkinson's he painted during his presentation ... is how the progression Parkinson's looks now.  It's not necessarily the picture of PD in five, 10 or 15 years.  So how can we change it as quickly as possible?  Here's are some suggestions from PDF:
  1. Advocate for PD Research: There may not be a cure for Parkinson’s, but you can be a part of the solution.  Join more than 150 PDF Research Advocates who are speeding the development of new treatments through the Parkinson’s Advocates in Research program.  In the Midwest?  We'll announce dates for our in-person three-day training in your region later this month and invite you to apply.  Don't have the time to commit to being a PDF Research Advocate or don't see a training nearby you right now? Take our four-part online course (available in mid-July) to advance your knowledge, and work with our Research Advocates in speeding new treatments. 
  2. Inform Others About Parkinson’s: Parkinson's disease is not well understood.  Spread the word in your community and bring the latest educational information to families touched by Parkinson’s.  Browse PDF’s Awareness Toolkit to find tips for raising awareness that work for you, whether writing a letter to the editor or setting up a display in your library.
  3. Fundraise for Research: PDF just announced $5.3 million in funding for Parkinson's research. We were only able to do so because of your support.   Support a PD organization, or join PDF Champions, the inspiring individuals who are raising funds for PDF’s programs, to improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.  Whether you run a lemonade stand that raises $20 or a golf tournaments that raises $50,000, you help to move the cause forward.
These are our ideas. What do you do individually to take charge of your Parkinson's?  What ideas do you have for the community to make progress now?

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