As caregivers, we know what an all-consuming time commitment it is to look after someone and knowing you should be observant every minute of every day is difficult, if not impossible. All anyone can do is try your best. And if you need help, ask for it.
Thousands of people are affected by Parkinson Disease each year. Ask your parent’s doctor about new research and drug trials in which your parent might participate. Researchers are searching for ways to identify Parkinson Disease sooner and delay the onset of symptoms. The Medical College of Georgia runs a Movement Disorders Program in Augusta, Georgia. This facility is a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence. If you are interested in having your parent take part in the research trials, contact them at www.mcg.edu.
You may be asking yourself, “what is Parkinson Disease?” It is a disease impacting the portion of the brain responsible for movement. A progressive disorder, PD occurs when neurons die or lose their function, failing to produce dopamine. The naturally occurring chemical dopamine allows us to move smoothly. When eighty percent of dopamine producing cells or neurons are impaired, the symptoms of Parkinson Disease manifest.
Many lay people refer to it as Parkinsons, but the correct reference is singular, as in Parkinson Disease, not Parkinson’s Disease. Early symptoms are mild and then progress to more significant symptoms over a period of time. Movements your parent once made with ease may become difficult or impossible.