Parkinson’s Disease

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us Parkinson’s disease is “a chronic progressive neurological disease chiefly of later life that is linked to decreased dopamine production in the substantia nigra and is marked especially by tremor of resting muscles, rigidity, slowness of movement, impaired balance, and a shuffling gait – also called paralysis agitans.”

That definition has some high-powered words that have the ability to put a reader on “mental freeze.” It is an intimidating definition.

In everyday words, Parkinson’s disease is caused by a certain part of the brain producing too little of an important ingredient (dopamine) needed for good brain-muscle communication, which then causes difficulty moving and controlling movement.

People with Parkinson’s often report confusion and misunderstanding when they are first diagnosed, relief that what they’ve been experiencing “has a name,” a new fear of what the future brings, and a loss of hope for good times to come.

Parkinson’s disease is BIG. It is life-changing. It will be a part of almost everything you think about and do from here on out. While there is no cure, there is a tremendous amount of hope and progress in understanding and managing this disease. There is more to this life.

YOU have a great deal of power over the course of YOUR future. What you decide to do each moment, each day is up to you. Remember this … as big as Parkinson’s disease is, it is not bigger than YOU.