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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Mouse study suggests neurodegenerative disease begins soon after birth
A study published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Investigation’ has suggested mechanisms that lead to Parkinson’s in adulthood, may begin much earlier than previously thought. The study, carried out by Northwestern University, Illinois, US, researched movement disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 by genetically engineering a mouse to mirror the human disease. Researchers found that altering circuity in the cerebellum – an area of the brain that controls movements – set the stage for later susceptibility to neurological disease. Professor Puneet Opal, who worked on the study, said: “This is the first discovery of alterations in an adult-onset spinocerebellar disorder that stems from such early developmental processes. “This may well be generalisable to a whole host of other diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.”
Australian-based health company Global Kinetics has received a $AUS 7.75 million investment from the Australian Federal Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund. The investment will be used to commercialise its Parkinson’s KinetiGraph – a smartwatch-style device that continually tracks the involuntary movements of those living with the condition. In addition to the sum from the Australian government, Global Kinetics also announced they are to receive a grant from The Michael J Fox Foundation, Shake It Up Australia Foundation and Parkinson’s Victoria. Mark Frasier, senior vice president of research programmes at The Michael J Fox Foundation, said: “The experience of Parkinson’s varies day-to-day, hour-to-hour. An objective tool, such as the wearable PKG technology, that passively collects data on the experience of Parkinson’s disease could give patients and their doctors greater insight to calibrate treatment plans and improve outcomes.”
Smartphone app detects severity of Parkinson’s symptoms
A smartphone app– created by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the University of Rochester Medical Centre and Aston University – can detect the severity of symptoms in people with Parkinson’s, according to a recent study. The study, which appeared in medical journal ‘JAMA’, found that the HopkinsPD app generated severity score levels which strongly correlated with standard movement tests given by physicians. HopkinsPD is expected to help medical professionals analyse Parkinson’s symptoms. Dr Ray Dorsey, neurologist at the University of Rochester, said: “Until these types of studies, we had very limited data on how people function on Saturdays and Sundays because patients don’t come to the clinic. “We also had very limited data about how people with Parkinson’s do at two o’clock in the morning or 11 o’clock at night because, unless they’re hospitalised, they’re generally not being seen in clinics at those times.”