Gov. Brian Kemp has designated April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month in Georgia as a way to alert the public about Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder more than a million Americans are living with.
Each year, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which includes both movement or motor-related symptoms and non-motor symptoms like apathy, depression, sleep behavior disorders, loss of sense of smell and cognitive impairment.
According to a news release, the prevalence of the disease is expected to increase substantially in the next 20 years due to the aging population. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s, but there are medications and treatments to live well with it.
“Since 1957, the Parkinson’s Foundation has invested more than $368 million in Parkinson’s disease research and clinical care,” John L. Lehr, the foundation’s president and CEO, said in the release. “Parkinson’s Awareness Month highlights the critical need for us to continue working together to fund research, care and resources so that one day we may live in a world without Parkinson’s disease.”
In April the foundation is raising awareness and funds as part of a national initiative it’s leading to improve the lives of individuals with Parkinson’s by improving care and advancing research toward a cure.
“This proclamation highlights our support of the state of Georgia and everyone here who has been affected by Parkinson’s disease,” Annie Long, senior community program manager for the foundation’s Georgia chapter, said in the release. “Together we can help our local community by raising awareness of the tools the Parkinson’s Foundation offers to empower people with PD and their loved ones.”
The foundation offers education, resources and programs throughout the state. In April and the months to follow, the Georgia chapter will host a variety of programs to help those who either have the disease or know someone who does. This fall, the chapter also will host educational programs in Savannah, Macon, Columbus, Athens and Atlanta.
Moving Day Atlanta will be held in October. The annual fundraising walk event unites individuals around the country living with Parkinson’s, their care partners and loved ones to help beat the disease.