Sunday, April 7, 2013

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month...

Today, more than four million people around the world suffer from Parkinson's Disease. The disease is chronic and progressive, with symptoms ranging from tremor, stiffness, rigidity, and pain to speech and swallowing, memory loss and depression. Because of the complexity of this disease, patients and their families, as well as physicians and health care professionals, need access to the most effective care and treatment information available.

We found out last year that Dave's dad {my fil} had tested positive for Early Stages of Parkinson's. Within a few months of seeing them, we could notice a huge difference in the way he walked, stood and even talked. Dave's father and step mother moved back up to Sacramento from Arroyo Grande last week. Dave, his Brother and Sister in Law all went over to their house to help with unpacking and moving stuff around. He pulled his boys aside and told them that his Parkinson's has gotten worse, fast.

My heart hurts for not only my husband and my bil, but also my children. Dave and his brother lost their mother in 2000 from Lung Cancer and now their father. I am praying that my fil will be able to see all of his grand kids graduate high school. Right now, the life expectancy for his type of Parkinson's is 5-12 years.

My FIL has Atypical Parkinsonism. As of Right now he has one of these two forms:

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
  • PSP is one of the more common forms of atypical Parkinsonism.
  • Symptoms of PSP usually begin after age 50 and progress more rapidly than PD.
  • These symptoms include: imbalance, frequent falls, rigidity of thetrunk, voice and swallowing changes and (eventually) eye-movement problems including the ability to move eyes up and down.
  • Dementia develops later in the disease. There is no specific treatment for PSP.
  • Dopaminergic medication treatment is often tried and may provide some benefit.
  • Other therapies such as speech therapy, physical therapy, and antidepressants are important for management of patients with PSP.
  • No laboratory/brain scan testing exists for PSP. In rare cases, some patients may have shrinking of a particular part of the brain, called the “Pons”, which can be seen on an MRI of the brain.


Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)
  • MSA is a larger term for several disorders in which one or more system in the body deteriorates.
  • Included in the category of MSA are: Shy-Drager syndrome (DSD), Striatonigral degeneration (SND) and OlivoPontoCerebellar Atrophy (OPCA).
  • The mean age of onset is in the mid-50s.
  • Symptoms include: bradykinesia, poor balance, abnormal autonomic function, rigidity, difficulty with coordination, or a combination of these features.
  • Initially, it may be difficult to distinguish MSA from Parkinson’s disease, although more rapid progression, poor response to common PD medications, and development of other symptoms in addition to Parkinsonism, may be a clue to its diagnosis.
  • No laboratory/brain scan testing exists to confirm the diagnosis of MSA.
  • Patients respond poorly to PD medications, and may require higher doses than the typical PD patient for mild to modest benefits.

April is also Parkinson's Awareness Month.

So for the whole month of April, I have Fundraisers on all three of my websites. 100% of the proceeds will be sent to the National Parkinson's Foundation in my FIL's name. If you would like to learn more about Parkinson's, click here.

If you would like to help a great cause and purchase from the fundraisers, please click here for Scentsy, Velata & Grace Adele.

Thank you!

{Source for all information}

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