Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects both voluntary and involuntary movement. Tremor, rigidity, freezing in place, pain, muscle cramps, swallowing difficulty, balance problems, and dementia are only a few PD symptoms which can cause debilitation. Currently there is no cure, however, various treatment options can offer PD patients temporary relief from symptoms.
Parkinson’s Disease is second only to Alzheimer’s disease as a degenerative neurological disorder. In the United States, PD affects more people than the combined total of those suffering from multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).
Over 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from PD. A new case of PD is diagnosed every nine (9) minutes. The average age of diagnosis is 58 years old. However, PD also strikes people in their 30’s and 40’s. Over 50,000 people in Michigan have PD. Thirty percent are under the age of 50. PD has been called a family disorder because caregivers are crucial for the well-being of the PD patient. Respite care and the high cost of medications are critical concerns.