• BHN

April is Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month

Updated: May 6, 2019

Did you know that there are around 17,000 Queenslanders living with Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson's Disease is a progressive neurological disorder in which parts of the brain become damaged over many years.


Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month
Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month

The three main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:

  • involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)

  • slow movement

  • stiff and inflexible muscles

A person with Parkinson's disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms, including:

  • depression and anxiety

  • balance problems – this may increase the chance of a fall

  • loss of sense of smell

  • problems sleeping (insomnia)

  • memory problems

Although there's currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, treatments are available to help reduce the main symptoms and maintain quality of life for as long as possible.


These include:

  • supportive treatments – such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy

  • medication

  • in some cases, brain surgery

There are several therapies that can make living with Parkinson's disease easier and help you deal with your symptoms on a day-to-day basis.


Exercise is a great way to deal with the physiological and psychological impact of Parkinson's Disease
Exercise is a great way to deal with the physiological and psychological impact of Parkinson's Disease

Physiotherapy

A physiotherapist can work with you to relieve muscle stiffness and joint pain through movement (manipulation) and exercise.

The physiotherapist aims to make moving easier, and improve your walking and flexibility. They also try to improve your fitness levels and ability to manage things for yourself.




Dietitian

For some people with Parkinson's disease, making dietary changes can help improve some symptoms.

These changes can include:

  • increasing the amount of fibre in your diet and making sure you're drinking enough fluid to reduce constipation

  • increasing the amount of salt in your diet and eating small, frequent meals to avoid problems with low blood pressure, such as dizziness when you stand up quickly

  • making changes to your diet to avoid unintentional weight loss