Busting Parkinson’s disease myths with our new infographic
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Author: Aileen ScoularPublished: 7 April 2022
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From common symptoms to who’s at risk, many myths and misconceptions still surround Parkinson’s. So, ahead of World Parkinson’s Day on 11 April, we’ve launched a bold new infographic to help share knowledge beyond the community. Here’s how you can get involved
Many of the people we interview for Parkinson’s Life tell us that others – including their own friends and family – don’t always understand the realities of living with the condition.
For instance, how many people know that there are 40 possible symptoms? Or that Parkinson’s can affect people of any age?
We’ve created a new infographic to bust three myths surrounding the condition and, in turn, help improve understanding and awareness.
Designed to be easily shareable on social channels, including Twitter and Instagram, the infographic can be used by anyone who wishes to take a stand against common stereotypes – and help to amplify the voices of people with the condition this World Parkinson’s Day.
Parkinson’s Life infographic, also available as individual, shareable assets.
The goal of this simple storyboard is to open a dialogue beyond Parkinson’s community and help to raise awareness of common symptoms, so that diagnosis and treatment come sooner. At the same time, we hope that it will encourage friends, family and colleagues to support people living with Parkinson’s in practical and meaningful ways.
Commenting on the launch of the infographic, Parkinson’s Life editor, Johanna Stiefler Johnson, said: “We hope this infographic can help increase awareness around the condition and have a positive impact not only on the lives of people with Parkinson’s, but those outside the community as well.”
What are the myths around Parkinson’s that you think need to be tackled?
Get involved this World Parkinson’s Day
To join Parkinson’s Life in sharing the infographic during Parkinson’s Awareness Month, check out our social posts below – and feel free to like, comment, retweet and share.
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Is dry eye disease common in people with Parkinson’s?
Dry eye disease can involve symptoms such as a lower blinking rate and typically occurs when the eyes are not effectively moistened by tears – leading to discomfort and possible vision loss. Now, a recent study from Japan has investigated the previously underexplored relationship between dry eye disease and Parkinson’s. As part of their research, the team analysed 13 studies published between 2004 and 2022, which involved more than 1,500 people with Parkinson’s. Five of the reports highlighted the prevalence of dry eye disease in people with the condition – with 61% experiencing symptoms. “Our findings emphasize the need for clinicians to be vigilant of the presence of dry eye disease when managing [people with Parkinson’s],” the researchers wrote. However, they noted that more research is needed – especially “future large-scale studies” – to help understand the relationship between dry eye disease and the condition.
Highlighting dental care needs among people with Parkinson’s disease
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have published a new study looking into dental care among people with Parkinson’s. Using a national register to obtain data relating to dental care between 2015 and 2019, the team identified 6,874 people with Parkinson’s, whose data was then compared to a control group of 34,285 people without the condition. A key takeaway from the five-year study was that a larger portion of people with Parkinson’s were not regular users of the dental care system – 21%, compared to 16.9% in the control group. The findings published in the journal ‘Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology’ also revealed that people with Parkinson’s utilised more dental-related treatment services than those in the control group – such as fillings and extractions. The researchers concluded: “This knowledge can be used by clinicians and decision-makers to ensure the optimal dental care for persons with Parkinson’s.”
Could risk factors for Parkinson’s disease be “largely man-made”?
New research has highlighted evidence of a potential link between Parkinson’s risk and exposure to toxic environmental factors – including air pollutants and human-made materials. The research was presented at the 147th Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association in Chicago, US, as part of a symposium on neurological disorders. The evidence included a study that highlighted that exposure to toxic pollutants may activate genes associated with the condition and that current environmental policies fail to consider the potential long-term effects of neurotoxic chemicals. “The world’s fastest-growing brain disease is largely man-made,” said neurologist Dr Ray Dorsey, one of the symposium speakers, in a press release. “The principal causes are toxic exposures to chemicals synthesised in the labs of chemical companies.” Calling for greater awareness surrounding the issue, he said: “If we educate the communities we’re supposed to serve, we can have them be mobilised and change the course of…