This month of April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and we’d like to share some information about this disease and let you know ways to help.
First of all, there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Parkinson’s rarely happens over night, but rather with symptoms that generally develop slowly over the years. Also, each person can have a different set of symptoms and progression due to the diversity of the disease.
What causes it? They don’t really know yet, but symptoms include tremors (usually at rest), slowness of movement (bradykinesia), limb rigidity, and gait and balance problems. Treatment options vary and can include medications and surgery, and while not fatal, complications from Parkinson’s can be serious.
One therapy for Parkinson’s may surprise you: boxing. There are a few gyms in Orange County, including Ballard Boxing, who have special classes designed by the non profit Rock Steady. Exercises are based on traditional boxing drills and designed to promote agility, speed, endurance, balance, hand-to-eye coordination, and overall strength.
The Parkinson’s Foundation is dedicated to helping treat and find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. They have designated 45 medical centers around the world as “Centers of Excellence”, who have a specialized team of neurologists, movement disorder specialists, physical and occupational therapists, mental health professionals, and other caregivers who are on top of the latest Parkinson’s medications, therapies, and research.
If you know someone who has Parkinson’s, or have it yourself, this month is the perfect one to spread awareness and contribute to the good work the Parkinson’s Foundation is doing. Click here to find out ways to give, and here for ways to get involved.
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