April is Parkinson’s Disease awareness month

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. It involves the malfunction and death of vital brain cells called neurons. Symptoms include tremors of the hands, arms, legs jaw and face; slowness of movement, stiffness; and impaired balance and coordination.

Currently, the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown and there is no cure.

Men are more than one and a half time more likely to have Parkinson’s than women, according to the foundation, and the vast majority of those diagnosed are older than 50 years of age.

With as many as one million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease, according to the foundation, and approximately 60,000 diagnosed each year, we think it’s important to continue to raise awareness of this debilitating disease.

Because a diagnosis of Parkinson’s is more likely as one ages, we think it’s great that the Negaunee Senior Center has stepped up to the plate to host Dr. Tim Collier, who will discuss the latest research and newest treatments for the disease.

Collier will speak at the center from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday.

Collier will speak on the campus of Northern Michigan University from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

He is a professor in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine. He is also director of the Morris K. Udall Center for Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research.

We would encourage anyone with the time to attend either of these lectures, whether you know someone with Parkinson’s or not.

Because a disease that affects more people than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined, it’s no stretch of the imagination that it might some day affect you.