Parkinson’s Awareness Week 2015 – New research show discrimination against people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson's UK
Parkinson’s UK

As you may know this week is Parkinson’s Awareness Week. Parkinson’s affects 127,000 people in the UK. With 46% experiencing depression and 62% suffering from anxiety as a result of their condition according to British Charity Parkinson’s UK.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition in which part of the brain becomes progressively damaged over many years. The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  1. tremor ( that is involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body
  2. slow movement
  3. stiff and inflexible muscles

So, of course, day to day life presents many challenges anyhow for somebody with Parkinson’s disease but Doctors suggest that insensitive public reactions could be impact on people with Parkinson’s mental health.

Professor David Burn, Parkinson’s UK Clinical Director and Consultant Neurologist, warned:

“It’s devastating to see the added burden thoughtless reactions from the public are having on people with Parkinson’s.

“Patients I see in the clinic are already battling a myriad of neurological symptoms including anxiety, depression and insomnia. The last thing they need is to feel like a zoo exhibit when they step out of their front door.

“It’s a situation where simple kindness and old-fashioned manners can actually have a life-changing impact on people with Parkinson’s. Understanding, patience and empathy can make the difference to someone with Parkinson’s as to whether they feel imprisoned in their own home, or confident to go out in public.”

Research suggested revealed the knock-on effects of public humiliation on people with Parkinson’s. Almost 1 in 5 (19%) who had experienced discrimination and negative reactions would rather skip a meal and go hungry than venture out to the shops, and 15% admitted they feel trapped inside their homes because of these reactions.

For previous coverage of Parkinson’s Awareness Week please have a look at this post here.