Today is World Parkinson’s day and it’s an opportunity to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease.
I copied these thoughts which follow… from various other blogs.. sorry I forgot to write down who to credit. 😦
“Parkinson’s Awareness Month and I have questions. Who is it we are trying to make aware? What is the goal of this Awareness Month? Is it to make others aware of the disease, accept the disease or to better understand the disease? However I believe that, being aware , accepting and understanding are all totally different things! Too often you may have experienced Parkies that are aware of and have accepted the disease, without understanding what the disease brings to them. Those of us with Parkinson’s could do a lot better at becoming more aware of how we accept and understand the disease. You may have met fellow Parkies that have given into what the disease may bring before those limitations are even presented to them. They are certainly aware of the disease, they have accepted the disease but their understanding of it has let the disease take a part of their life from them before it had to happen. Does our own awareness of Parkinson’s grow as the disease progresses? If so our acceptance and our understanding must grow as well. So to me Parkinson Awareness Month is for; 1:Those who don’t have it 2;Those caregivers that care for us. 3:Those of us that have the disease. Put them in any order you want !”
But before I discuss those, I want you to think about this: “researchers say that by the time a person with Parkinson’s disease starts experiencing motor symptoms, they have lost between 60% – 80% of their dopamine producing neurons! “
“So, let’s talk about Parkinson’s disease (PD)… actually, I should be more specific – let’s talk about dopamine. To those who are not familiar with PD, dopamine is said to be the neurotransmitter that is deficient in PD patients. This brain chemical is responsible for many important human functions.”
What that means is that, in my case, as of summer 0f 2014 (my first recollection of weakness in my legs), I had lost way more than half of my dopamine producing neurons. This was over 5 years ago.
“Let’s go back to dopamine’s role in human functions – it plays a role in movement, memory, cognition, mood, attention, and behavior. Now, I know the relationship is not precisely linear, but if a person with Parkinson’s disease (PWP) has lost the majority of their dopamine producing neurons – neurons that produce the brain chemicals responsible for the aforementioned functions, I think it stands to reason that even if they gave a 100% effort all the time in these areas, they would still come up short. This is not a justification for bad behavior nor is it an excuse for a PWP not giving their best effort. This is simply raising awareness about the difficult limitations PWP are confronted with. If we, PWPs, are only operating with a small fraction of this all-powerful neurotransmitter then our mood, our cognitive abilities, our behavior, our drive, our attention to details, our addictions, and many more “ours” are all bound to be impacted, right? When it comes to our abilities to perform all these functions, rest assured that the playing field is not level – not even by a long shot. Think about that.– “