8 Myths About Parkinson’s Disease

As we begin Parkinson’s Awareness Month in April, it’s essential to understand the reality of this neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Despite the scientific community’s efforts, myths and misconceptions surrounding Parkinson’s persist. 

This blog post will separate fact from fiction and explore misunderstandings about Parkinson’s and its treatment.

With an estimated 6.1 million people worldwide suffering from Parkinson’s in 2016 and the number of cases more than doubling in the last 25 years (Info Courtesy: The Lancet), understanding the truth about this condition is crucial for optimizing care and improving quality of life.

Myth #1: Parkinson’s only affects older people

Reality: While Parkinson’s is more common in people over 60, it can affect people of any age. It is estimated that up to 10% of people with Parkinson’s are diagnosed before age 40 (Info Courtesy: American Parkinson Disease Association). This is known as early-onset Parkinson’s

Related Content: Concerned about your elderly parents living independently in Michigan? Here are some signs to look out for when your aging parents may need assistance.

Myth #2: Parkinson’s only affects movement

Reality: Parkinson’s is primarily known for causing movement-related symptoms, such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. However, Parkinson’s can cause many non-motor symptoms, including depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, constipation, and cognitive impairment.

Myth #3: Parkinson’s is a fatal disease

Reality: While Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive condition, it is not typically fatal. Most people with Parkinson’s live an expected lifespan. However, complications of Parkinson’s, such as falls or infections, can be life-threatening.

Myth #4: Parkinson’s is caused by head trauma

Reality: While head trauma has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s, it is not a direct cause of the disease. The exact cause of Parkinson’s is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Myth #5: Parkinson’s can be cured

Reality: Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. However, treatments available can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These treatments include medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes.

Related Content: There are few things more frightening than receiving a serious diagnosis.
Here are 7 steps to help a loved one through a serious health diagnosis.

Myth #6: Parkinson’s only affects men

Reality: Parkinson’s affects both men and women equally. However, some studies have suggested that women may be more likely to develop Parkinson’s at an earlier age and may experience more severe symptoms.

Myth #7: Parkinson’s is contagious

Reality: Parkinson’s disease is not contagious, and it cannot be transmitted from one person to another through contact. Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the nervous system and is not caused by a virus or bacteria.

Myth #8: Parkinson’s is genetic

Reality: Although genetics can play a role in Parkinson’s disease, only 5-10% of cases are attributed to genetic factors (Info Courtesy: BioMed Central). Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins or head injuries may also contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease affects millions worldwide, and its stigma can make it challenging. However, by educating ourselves and others on Parkinson’s, we can work towards a greater understanding of the disease and help break down the barriers that those with Parkinson’s face. Together, we can improve the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s and create a more supportive and informed community.

If you’re searching for specialized care for a loved one with Parkinson’s, please get in touch with us at 248-657-7674 or info@affinityseniorcare.com. We’re located in Michigan and provide comprehensive senior care services, including respite care, memory care, Assisted Daily Activities, and post-surgical recovery care.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *