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home : opinions : letters to the editor June 29, 2017

4/8/2017 7:29:00 AM
April is Parkinson's Awareness Month

To the Editor:

This April, I invite our neighbors to take part in Parkinson's Awareness Month. Nearly one million Americans live with Parkinson's - which is more than Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, and Muscular Dystrophy combined - and over 20,000 of our neighbors in Wisconsin have been diagnosed with the disease. If you don't already know someone living with Parkinson's today, there is a good chance that, someday, you will.

Neurologists have classified Parkinson's disease as a movement disorder, characterized by four key motor symptoms: tremor, muscle rigidity and stiffness, slowness of movement, and impaired balance and coordination. Today, PD is considered much more than just a movement disorder. Non-motor symptoms of this disease may include dementia or confusion, fatigue, sleep disturbances and depression.

While the disease process may begin years earlier, the average age of diagnosis for PD is 60, but many individuals are diagnosed in their 50s and 40s, or even younger. It is estimated that 60,000 Americans are newly diagnosed each year.

Like many other neurological disorders, the causes of PD are not known, but both environmental and genetic factors are thought to be involved.

There currently is no cure for PD, but numerous medications and other treatment options are available to improve symptoms and the quality of life for people with this disease and the increased pace of new research offers great hope for future treatment and a cure.

I invite all in our community to support Parkinson Awareness Month. For more information, and ideas on how to get involved, please contact Wisconsin Parkinson Association at 414-312-6990 or

Thank you,

Gary Garland

Executive Director

Wisconsin Parkinson Association

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 14, 2017
Article comment by: Tim Stolar

Interesting that a poor man with Parkinsons, who could not speak, yet needed help, "somehow" arranged for himself to be beaten up just last week.

Pretty darn sad.

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