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200 years closer to a cure for Parkinson’s

11 April 2017

200 years closer to a cure for Parkinson’s

It’s been 200 years since English physician James Parkinson first described the condition named after him in An Essay on the Shaking Palsy. Since 1817, major advances have been made in Parkinson’s research, including the development of various medications and other therapies to treat the symptoms of this devastating condition. And yet we still do not know precisely what causes Parkinson’s, and there is no cure.

For the 200th anniversary of World Parkinson’s Day on 11 April, Parkinson’s New Zealand will lead the international Parkinson’s community to #UniteForParkinsons. This global campaign aims to increase awareness of Parkinson’s, show support for those living with the condition and to inspire new research and treatment initiatives.

New Zealand will be among the first countries in the world to recognise World Parkinson's Day on 11th April and we encourage you make social media posts tomorrow with the #UniteForParkinsons hashtag.

“People living with Parkinson’s and their families cannot wait another 200 years for a cure,” says Deirdre O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Parkinson’s New Zealand.

“Research into this complex and life-altering condition is progressing and we must keep up the momentum for a cure. I encourage everyone to use the hashtag #UniteForParkinsons on 11 April to show your support for those affected by Parkinson’s and for those searching for a cure.”
The #UniteForParkinsons campaign aims to raise awareness by using social media, local events and activities in our community. On the Parkinson’s New Zealand website and social media you will find details on how you can actively support the campaign –by attending and supporting events—as well as using your social media to spread the message that 200 years without a cure is too long.

With 13,000 people in New Zealand living with Parkinson’s, the aim is to represent as many people as possible. So please join us—donate and come along to World Parkinson’s Day events in your region of New Zealand and invite others to join us too –as we #UniteForParkinsons.

#UniteForParkinsons World Parkinson’s Day events:
· Parkinson’s Auckland hosts a free public seminar “World Parkinson’s Day” with Neurologist Dr Jon Simcock and neurological physiotherapist Gilly Davy on Tuesday 11 April at 1:00pm in the Greenlane Christian Centre, 17 Marewa Road, Greenlane. Contact Bev on 09 278-6918.
· Parkinson’s Kapiti Horowhenua sells tulip bulbs on Tuesday 11 April from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at Waikanae Countdown and New World Paraparaumu. Contact Rachel for details on 04 293-6927.
· Parkinson’s Bay of Plenty hosts a public “Non Motor symptoms of Parkinson’s” seminar with Speech and Language Therapist Robin Matthews and Nurse Practitioner Tony Lawson on Tuesday 11 April at 1:30pm in the Senior Citizens Rooms, Maitland Street, Greerton. Contact Mary on (027) 468 0433
· Parkinson’s Central Plateau holds a street appeal on Tuesday 11 April in Rotorua.
· Parkinson’s Hawke’s Bay holds an appeal on Tuesday 11 April at Hawke’s Bay Airport.
· This year Parkinson’s Waikato will watch a movie on Wednesday 12 April at 11:00am at the Tivoli Cinema, 32 Lake Street, Cambridge. Contact Anne on 027 244 4123 or Janine on 027 255 5123
· There will be other events and activities around New Zealand throughout 2017 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of James Parkinson’s famous essay.

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. It is caused by insufficient quantities of dopamine - a chemical in the brain. Dopamine enables quick, well-coordinated movement. When dopamine levels fall, movements become slow and awkward. Parkinson’s has both motor and non-motor symptoms, and while it cannot be cured it can be treated.

ENDS

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