Parkinson’s disease awareness month brings light to new research

Stethoscope 3Parkinson’s disease experts say PD is becoming a greater problem in the United States. They say, the number of Americans with Parkinson’s disease is expected to double over the next decade, in large part because people are living longer.

Currently there isn’t a cure for PD but health experts say new research funded by The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation looks promising.

Dr. Allison Willis is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. She said “We have learned a lot about Parkinson’s disease from potential treatments that didn’t work as well as we had hoped. One of the areas that is new and important in Parkinson’s disease research is what I call the female paradox”.

The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry said men are 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with PD than women. However, Dr Willis said after woman are diagnosed the disease tends to be more disabling. She said understanding why women fare worse will help develop treatments that could positively impact all patients.

Dr. Willis said “We also are testing other ways for improving systems to support people with Parkinson’s Disease. Everything from support groups to patient self care, patient self support. We’re using mobile apps to encourage exercise which has been shown to alleviate some of the symptoms and some of the burden of Parkinson’s Disease in the long term”.