Parkinson’s Awareness Month Begins Worldwide Today

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by Hawken Miller |

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Parkinson's Awareness Month | Parkinson's News Today | events | illustration for awareness month

In 1817, James Parkinson published “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy,” the first such recognition of a disease that eventually would be known by his name.

On April 11, World Parkinson’s Day and the 267th anniversary of Parkinson’s birth, and throughout the month, the Parkinson’s community will raise awareness about the disease.

Various in-person and virtual events across the U.S. and around the globe will seek to bring greater understanding of the neurodegenerative disorder, which affects an estimated seven to 10 million people worldwide.

Parkinson’s UK is encouraging patients to write a limerick, or five-line poem, about their Parkinson’s story to share on World Parkinson’s Day. Submitted poems will be posted on the organization’s website and may be shared on its social media, or in press releases and printed materials. Alternatively, people can post their poems on social media using the hashtags #WorldParkinsonsDay or #LetsTalkAboutParkinsons.

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A number of locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland will be lit in blue to raise greater awareness about the disease, and people are encouraged to do so at their homes.

Starting on April 11, PD Warrior, a rehab program and online community platform for Parkinson’s, will host its fifth INSIGHT global conference. The online event, titled Living Brave with Parkinson’s, will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET and continue for 48 hours. Attending INSIGHT is free to all for the first two days. The third day carries a fee and is intended for healthcare professionals.

The theme of this year’s awareness month for the Parkinson’s Foundation is #FutureOfPD, focusing on research, care, and life planning. Accordingly, the nonprofit is asking people to participate in the PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease, a genetic testing research initiative. The foundation encourages patients, family, friends, and caregivers to petition local government, post on social media, email their contacts, and submit letters to the editor and press releases.

A number of Moving Day walks, events throughout the U.S. that aim to bring more awareness and funding for the disease, will occur throughout April, including in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Charleston, South CarolinaSan Francisco, California; and San Antonio, Texas. Other walk locations and a full list of Parkinson’s Foundation events can be found on its website.

There are a number of ways individuals can connect with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in April, including becoming a policy advocate, joining the Parkinson’s Buddy Network, or enrolling in the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, which charts the progression of people with and without Parkinson’s over their lifetimes. On April 21, the foundation will host a webinar focused on advice for those facing a new Parkinson’s diagnosis.

The American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA) asks people to take advantage of the added attention that will be placed on the community throughout April, and also to focus on their own health, such as signing up for a support group or exercise class, or making an appointment with a neurologist. People can also sign up for an APDA Optimism Walk. The next one is planned for April 23 in Georgia, and will continue the rest of this year in other locations. The APDA also plans to post inspirational and informational messages on all its social media channels using #UnshakeableSpirit.

Parkinson’s News Today, for the second year, will continue its “30 Days of Parkinson’s” series in April. Every day throughout Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a story shared by someone affected by Parkinson’s will be featured on the website. Contributors are still being sought and written submissions are being accepted until April 15. Those interested are asked to email [email protected].