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I have Parkinson's diseases and thought it would be nice to have a place where the contents of updated news is found in one place. That is why I began this blog.

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Scientists: Parkinson's Cure May be Near

(KMAland) -- Actor Michael J. Fox gave a face to Parkinson's Disease, a condition that plagues about 1 million people in the U.S. It's a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that causes shaking, tremors and a loss of balance.
Parkinson's affects about 1-in-100 people and strikes at an average age of 60 years-old. Although not as common, it can hit young people as well: Fox was diagnosed at 30.
Kelly Weinschreider received her diagnosis at age 29 and now reaches out to other young people who need advice, or just someone to talk to. Weinschreider chose to have a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation so she wouldn't have to rely on so many medications. She said the idea of brain surgery was terrifying, but she believes she's better now because of it.
"The thought and the hope that DBS would help my symptoms and essentially reduce my medications and just really improve my quality of life, made it worth it," Weinschreider said. "It's kind of like, if you can get through one hard day in your life that improves so many - hopefully - years ahead of me, it's worth it."
Fox revealed that shortly after having surgery to correct the tremors on the left side of his body, the right side of his body started showing symptoms. He later announced he would rely on medications until researchers find a cure.
There are a couple dozen support groups for Parkinson's patients in Missouri.
While there is currently no cure for Parkinson's, Dr. Christopher Goetz, director of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Rush University, said scientists are close to understanding why certain cells that send signals to the body to control movement are destroyed.
"This is an area where the whole brain is not affected, it's quite selective, and therefore we think that if we understand that biochemistry, we really can nip this at the very very earliest stage," Goetz said. "It is envisionable that we will crack this disease within the next decade."
Until that happens, those with Parkinson's are able to live a mostly normal life. Weinschreider said there are a lot of side effects with medications, and some of them don't work very well. And she said that can have a big impact on daily life.
"Especially for people that are working or have small children," she said. "It affects a lot of people at young ages that are at different stages of their lives. And it's difficult to remember to take your meds, and the disease itself varies from day to day."

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