April 11th is World Day, which is celebrated to increase awareness and raise money for research to find a cure for the disease. The national holiday falls on the birthday of Dr. J Parkinson, who first wrote about the disease in an essay called “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy”. He described the symptoms of the disease and dedicated his career to his research that would later lead to a common central nervous system diagnosis in many people around the world.
Over one million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s disease, which is characterized by tremors, cognitive dysfunction, and muscular dysfunction. As a central nervous system disorder, this disease progresses with time and can become more severe as a person ages, so medications are often used to help keep symptoms in check.
The disease doesn’t discriminate and can develop in anyone, often as we age. Even American actor Michael J. Fox, from the Back to the Future movie series, has been diagnosed with the disease and is an active member in the community to find a cure. On World’s Parkinson’s Disease Day, many communities come together to support the search for a cure and host 5k runs, bake sales, and other fundraising activities. If you’re interested in helping, visit the Michael J. Fox Foundation website at: https://www.michaeljfox.org/get-involved/teamfox.php