How much do you really know about Parkinson’s?
- More than 80,000 people in Australia have Parkinson’s.
- 37 new cases are diagnosed every day.
- Only around 30% of people with Parkinson’s have a tremor.
- Constipation, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances and loss of smell are often symptoms present 5 to 10 years before diagnosis.
- Parkinson’s medication must be taken on time every time. Even a 15-minute delay can worsen symptoms.
- On average, Australians live with Parkinson’s for 12.4 years. (However, people diagnosed early in life can live for many more years than this).
- Loss of smell is often one of the first symptoms of Parkinson’s. This often goes undiagnosed, along with changes in handwriting and poor sleep.
- Parkinson’s medication generally shouldn’t be taken with food – especially protein-rich foods.
- People living with Parkinson’s experience longer – and also more frequent – hospital stays than people without Parkinson’s.
- Research shows that exercise reduces Parkinson’s symptoms.
- 18% of people with Parkinson’s are of working age.
- Less than 10% of Parkinson’s NSW funding comes from government grants.
- The Registered Nurses who staff the Parkinson’s NSW Infoline handle more than 6000 calls every year.
- Dialling the InfoLine is free for users, but every call costs Parkinson’s NSW $33.
Most people living with Parkinson’s do not have a family history of it.
TRUE – There is no genetic testing.
Parkinson’s can be diagnosed with a blood test.
FALSE – No specific test exists to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. A neurologist can diagnose it based on medical history, symptoms, and a neurological examination.
Parkinson’s is more common in Australia than breast, prostate and lung cancer.
TRUE – In Australia Parkinson’s is more common than breast, colorectal, stomach, liver, pancreatic, kidney, bladder, uterine, cervical, ovarian and lung cancers, as well as lymphoma and leukaemia.
There is a cure for Parkinson’s.
FALSE – The cause of Parkinson’s is not known, and as yet there is no cure. However, Parkinson’s NSW funds research to improve quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s now, as the search for a cure continues.