Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating, progressive nervous system condition that can happen to anyone. Sufferers can experience tremors, slow movement, slurred speech, difficulty eating, and a slew of other symptoms. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, there are 60,000 people diagnosed each year in the United States and 10 million people living with the disease throughout the world.
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Parkinson’s progresses and presents differently for each individual which tends to create some myths and misconceptions. Because of this, we’ve created a list of the most common myths and found the real facts behind them. Take a look and learn the truth about Parkinson’s disease….
1. Parkinson’s Disease Only Happens To Older People
When most people hear Parkinson’s disease, they tend to associate this disease with older people. While that is true for the majority of people with Parkinson’s disease, it’s very possible to be diagnosed as a young person. If someone is diagnosed before the age of 50 they will receive a Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease (YOPD) diagnosis. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, “YOPD affects about two to 10-percent of the one million people with PD in the United States.” A very rare condition called juvenile Parkinsonism can happen in children and teenagers says the Parkinson’s Foundation. This form of Parkinson’s disease is typically connected to genetic changes.
The symptoms of YOPD are similar to the ones older people experience. However, younger people can have very different challenges because of their diagnosis. Raising a family, job, and other social issues can make their experience different and unique from an older person. It’s important to have a support system in place if you have Parkinson’s disease or offer support to friends and family if they have been diagnosed. It’s a lifelong condition that will affect every aspect of their lives.