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World Parkinson’s Disease Day

Posted by
Eimear O'Brien, Brand Communications

Saturday April 11th is World Parkinson's Disease Day 2015. This annual awareness day raises awareness of Parkinson's disease and promotes greater understanding of how this condition affects people.

April 11th was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr James Parkinson, the English physician who described the disease in a paper entitled "An Essay on the Shaking Palsy", published in 1817.

The symbol of World Parkinson's Disease Day is a red tulip. This dates back to 1980 when J.W.S Van der Wereld, a Dutch horticulturist, developed a red and white tulip. Van der Wereld, who had Parkinson's disease, decided to name his newly-cultivated flower the 'Dr James Parkinson' tulip.

On April 11, 2005, the Red Tulip was launched as the worldwide symbol of Parkinson's disease at a conference in Luxembourg.

Highlight symptoms
It is estimated that 6.3 million people are living with Parkinson’s disease worldwide.

Many people associate Parkinson's disease with motor symptoms such as tremor, freezing and rigidity. Symptoms tend to appear gradually, normally on just one side of the body at first, although both sides will be affected as Parkinson's progresses.

People who develop the condition also suffer non-motor symptoms such as fatigue, depression and sleep disturbance.

For people with Parkinson's disease, the Parkinson’s Well-being Map™ can help to monitor and communicate their symptoms to healthcare teams. This visual tool allows patients to track both motor and underlying symptoms.

Parkinson's Disease Awareness Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the condition and its symptoms, and improve the lives of patients.

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