In Australia, 38 people are diagnosed with Parkinsonâ€™s disease each day, thatâ€™s at least one diagnosed every 40 minutes. In the last six years, the number of people diagnosed with this progressive and degenerative neurological condition has increased by 17%.
Parkinsonâ€™s is not a disease that only affects the elderly. Young-onset Parkinsonâ€™s disease (YOPD) accounts for the one in five diagnosed while under the age of 50 and the 10% diagnosed before the age of 40.
Without a known cause or cure, Parkinsonâ€™s disease affects people both physically and mentally, impairing the ability to think clearlyÂ and move steadily. Symptoms such as sleep disturbance, constipation, depression and loss of a sense of smell can pre-date symptoms such as a tremor by up to a decade.
ThisÂ World Parkinsonâ€™s Day (11th April),Â the Shake It Up Australia Foundation is raising awareness of YOPD and encouraging Australians to Pause 4 Parkinsonâ€™s by making a donation or hosting a fundraising event to support research into finding a cure.