Did you know today is World Parkinson’s Day?

Today (April 11) marks World Parkinson’s Day, named in honour of Dr. James Parkinson, the British surgeon who, in 1817, first described the symptoms of the neurological condition we today call Parkinson’s disease, and who was born on this day in 1755.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition affecting more than 100,000 Canadians, according to Parkinson Canada, a national nonprofit organization advocating for people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson Canada estimates that as many as 30 Canadians per day will be diagnosed with the condition in the coming years.

Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder caused by a deficit of dopamine-producing neurons in regions of the brain controlling movement, is also a condition affecting many people living in long-term care homes.

“It is one of the fastest-growing neurological diseases in the world, and Canada has one of the highest prevalence rates compared to other countries,” Parkinson Canada states.

Each World Parkinson’s Day and throughout April, which is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Parkinson Canada steps up its advocacy to bring attention to the condition and its impact on people through awareness events, social media campaigns and fundraising.

“World Parkinson’s Day increases awareness of Parkinson’s and is intended to spur new research and treatment initiatives,” a backgrounder on the Parkinson Canada website states.

“Parkinson Canada works to educate the public, particularly during the month of April, Parkinson Awareness Month, by hosting fundraising and awareness events and reaching out to Canadians with Parkinson’s and the general public in communities across Canada.”

People and organizations, including long-term care homes, can help raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease through social media or by visiting the Parkinson Canada website for more information.

On social media, the hashtags #ParkinsonAwarenessMonth and #PartnersInParkinsons can be followed for more information.

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