In Australia, 38 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each day, that’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%.
Parkinson’s is not a disease that only affects the elderly. Young-onset Parkinson’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, Parkinson’s disease affects people both physically and mentally, impairing the ability to think clearly 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.
This World Parkinson’s Day (11th April), the Shake It Up Australia Foundation is raising awareness of YOPD and encouraging Australians to Pause 4 Parkinson’s by making a donation or hosting a fundraising event to support research into finding a cure.