To inspire and empower millions of people living with Parkinson’s around the world, Bial launches a touching campaign for the World Parkinson’s Day showing that it is possible to live a normal life, and successfully perform everyday tasks
Imagine being unable to control your own body. In your mind, everything is exactly like it was; but your brain seems to have forgotten how to tell your body to do everyday tasks like tying up shoes or using a toothbrush.
This is how it feels to live with Parkinson’s. A real challenge for the 10 million people diagnosed with Parkinson’s around the world. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease – an illness that affects nerve cells in the brain. For those who live with these symptoms and for their families, Parkinson’s means much more than just physical symptoms: it also means a loss of their independence.
In order to raise awareness and help people keep their self-esteem, people with Parkinson’s were invited to star in a video that shows them at their best by focusing on what they can do instead of what they cannot do. Buttoning up shirts, putting on make-up, tying up shoes or even dancing and playing musical instruments. Simple, everyday tasks alongside a cheerful, feel-good tune developed specially for the campaign.
António Portela, CEO of Bial, explains the positive tone of the campaign: “Parkinson’s can really change people’s lives, but it’s very important that they do not lose their self-esteem. That is why we wanted to counter the negative portraits of people with Parkinson’s and show everyone what they really can do. Hopefully, we can inspire and empower the millions of people living with Parkinson’s to never give up on their dignity. Bial’s aim is to help the lives of people with Parkinson’s even if it’s to help with one small thing at a time.”
The campaign launches worldwide today – on World Parkinson’s Day – and is featured on Bial’s website, across Bial’s social media and on the European Parkinson’s Disease Association’s social media channels too.
Watch the video ‘Me at my best’ below
This article is sponsored by Bial. The information in this article is given for information purposes only and does not represent an endorsement by the EPDA of any particular treatments, products or companies. This article is not a substitute for advice from your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Parkinson’s Life makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness or accuracy of information provided.
Founded in 1924, Bial’s mission is to discover, develop and provide therapeutic solutions within the area of health. In recent decades, Bial has strategically focused on quality, innovation and internationalisation. Bial has channelled more than 20% of its annual turnover into research and development within neurosciences and the cardiovascular system.
In 2016 Bial launched Opicapone for Parkinson’s disease. Already available in Germany and in the United Kingdom, it will be introduced in the remaining European countries throughout 2017.
Currently representing around two thirds of its turnover, Bial will continue to strengthen its international presence based in its own innovative medicines, particularly in the most important European pharmaceutical markets, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy, where the company is already present with its own affiliates. For more information about Bial, please visit www.bial.com.
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Researchers from Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea believe they are closer to finding a cure for Parkinson’s through their research into protein DJ-1. The research, which will be published in US journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, has found evidence to suggest the protein impairs nerve cells within the body which relate to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. Although the protein had previously been linked to the development of Parkinson’s, its exact role remained unknown. Professor Sung Hyun Kim, who led the study, said: “We will research the relationship between synapse function and the expressive actions of animals with Parkinson’s, and establish the related network. If the study goes well, we will be able to infer the cause of Parkinson’s.”
Researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, have discovered that excess levels of calcium in brain cells may lead to the formation of the toxic clusters that signify Parkinson’s disease. The findings, reported in the journal ‘Nature Communications’, show that calcium can influence the interaction between small membranous structures inside nerve endings, which are important for neuronal signaling in the brain, and alpha-synuclein – the protein associated with Parkinson’s disease. Dr Janin Lautenschläger, the paper’s first author, said: “This is the first time we’ve seen that calcium influences the way alpha-synuclein interacts with synaptic vesicles. We think that alpha-synuclein is almost like a calcium sensor. In the presence of calcium, it changes its structure and how it interacts with its environment, which is likely very important for its normal function.”
Jewish people with Crohn’s disease more likely to carry LRRK2 gene mutation
A scientific study has concluded that there may be a link between Parkinson’s and Crohn’s disease within the Ashkenazi Jewish community. The study’s findings, which were published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’, has found that members of the population with Crohn’s disease are more likely to carry the LRRK2 mutation which is a significant cause of Parkinson’s. Lead researcher Dr Inga Peter, professor of genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine, New York, US, said: “Crohn’s disease is a complex disorder with multiple genes and environmental factors involved, which disproportionately affects individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. “The presence of shared LRRK2 mutations in patients with Crohn’s disease and Parkinson’s disease provides refined insight into disease mechanisms and may have major implications for the treatment of these two seemingly unrelated diseases.”