Could You Have Parkinsonís Disease?
(Springfield, GA)ó A recent study by Penn Stateís Hershey College of Medicine suggests that irregular arm swings while walking could be an early sign of Parkinsonís disease.
Though the study concedes that there are people without Parkinsonís who might also exhibit some irregular arm swing, the asymmetry is much greater in those who have the disease.
ďThis research is a huge step forward,Ē says Kay Mixson Jenkins, author of Who Is Pee Dee? Explaining Parkinsonís Disease to a Child. ďWith discoveries like these, doctors can diagnose the illness at an early stage and might be able to slow its progression.Ē
Ms. Jenkins was diagnosed with the devastating disease when she was just thirty-four and decided to write a book to help her children understand it. Who Is Pee Dee? follows a young boy named Colt as he tries to deal with his motherís chronic illness.
Parkinsonís disease involves the loss of certain types of brain cells, leading to impaired movement as well as slow speech. Other symptoms that might indicate Parkinsonís disease include:
ē Tremors of the hands, face, jaw, arms and legs
ē Stiffness and muscle cramps in the neck, limbs and torso
ē Slowness in initiating motor movements
ē Poor balance and coordination
ďI was diagnosed with Parkinsonís when I was only thirty-four and am well aware of the devastating effects of the disease,Ē notes Ms. Jenkins. ďAny positive news about PD, including the recent study from Penn Stateís Hershey College of Medicine, makes me hopeful that one day this illness will be cured.Ē
In addition to creating Who Is Pee Dee?, Kay Mixson Jenkins is a leader in a nationwide effort to raise awareness about PD. As the founder of Parkinsonís in the Park, an affiliated chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation, Ms. Jenkins has created an outreach program that encourages families and friends to participate in the treatment of PD patients.
Ms. Jenkins is also the Georgia state co-coordinator for the Parkinsonís Action Network, leads the Effingham County Parkinsonís support group and was selected as a Parkinsonís patient advocate for UCB, Inc.
Who Is Pee Dee? Explaining Parkinsonís Disease to a Child is available on Amazon.com.
For more information, contact the author directly via kmj@ParkinsonsInThePark.org.
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