Parkinson Canada calls for better care for those affected by rising neurological disorder
Toronto, ON (March 31, 2021) — Parkinson Canada, a non-profit that supports all aspects in helping combat the impacts of the disease, is calling for better awareness and support of those affected by the neurological disorder in light of Parkinson’s Awareness Month starting April 1. The month of April is dedicated to bringing awareness to the disease while supporting organizations within the community that are committed to improving the lives of those impacted by this brain disorder. COVID-19 has taken the focus as an acute world crisis, overshadowing various life-threatening illnesses, postponing treatment, and essential support. Those within the Parkinson’s community will be hit particularly hard because of lockdown restrictions, creating a potential wave of health consequences that will have a devastating blow on this community.
“Parkinson’s disease is on the rise globally with Canada experiencing among the highest rates of prevalence with approximately 100,000 individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s,” says Dr. Karen Lee, Parkinson Canada President and CEO. “Researchers have been calling Parkinson’s a ‘pandemic’ due to its growing prevalence around the world, with the impact of COVID-19 only accelerating this health issue.”
Despite the misconception that it only affects those older than 60, it is a complex brain disease that can impact adults of all ages with varying symptoms. A few notable facts of Parkinson’s disease:
- It’s on the rise in Canada. More than 25 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Canada every day. By 2031 that number is expected to double.
- Difficult to detect. Parkinson’s disease is notoriously difficult to detect often resulting in people going years, sometimes even decades, before getting diagnosed.
- Cost of care. Parkinson’s has the third-highest direct healthcare costs annually and people with the disease have the second-highest annual out-of-pocket expense for medications at $1,100, next to those with spinal cord injuries.
- COVID-19 has only made it worse. The pandemic has severely backlogged our healthcare system. Canadians in some regions were already facing wait times upwards of two years before they can see a specialist to determine if they have Parkinson’s, and the current public health context has only made matters worse.
Parkinson Canada’s newest campaign, No Matter What, inspires hope and resilience for Canadians living with Parkinson’s and their families, further communicating the commitment to overcome obstacles and support those living with the disease, while working together on the path to a cure. The organization also brings together the best in Parkinson’s research as a founding partner of the Canadian Open Parkinson Network (C-OPN). This network gives researchers in the field the platform to make new connections and share findings leading to innovative advancements for Parkinson’s disease.
During Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and throughout the year, stay connected with Parkinson Canada by visiting www.parkinson.ca or calling 1 800 565 3000.
Subscribe to eParkinsonPost, a monthly newsletter at https://www.parkinson.ca/resources/newsletters/.
About Parkinson Canada
Parkinson Canada provides services and education to people living with Parkinson’s disease, their families, and the healthcare professionals who treat them. Since 1965, the organization advocates with federal, territorial and provincial governments on issues that concern the Parkinson’s community in Canada. The Parkinson Canada Research Program funds innovative research for better treatments and a cure. Parkinson Canada is a founding partner of the Canadian Open Parkinson Network. C-OPN will increase collaboration across institutions and scientists to accelerate discoveries through a shared databank and biorepository. A national registered charity, Parkinson Canada operates through the generosity of donors and is an accredited organization under the Imagine Canada Standards Program since 2013. Parkinson Canada participates in numerous coalitions and partnerships to fulfil its mission. For information on Parkinson Canada COVID-19 Action Plan and resources, visit https://www.parkinson.ca/parkinson-canadas-action-plan-for-covid-19/.
Jon Collins, VP Marketing and Fundraising