Parkinson’s Cases Set To Double
(Springfield, GA)—While the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease worldwide is already thought to be more than four million, a new study says that the world’s largest nations are set to see a doubling of that number within twenty-five years.
According to a study published by the journal Neurology, countries like China, India and the United states have allocated relatively few resources to chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s, focusing instead on communicative illnesses such as HIV. In addition, world populations are growing older, meaning more people are living long enough to develop diseases like Parkinson’s.
“It’s so important that the world’s leaders realize how devastating Parkinson’s is,” says author and Parkinson’s advocate Kay Mixson Jenkins. “Certainly many diseases are challenging, but the degenerative diseases present a major burden to every aspect of a country’s medical infrastructure.”
Ms. Jenkins’ book, Who Is Pee Dee? Explaining Parkinson’s Disease to a Child, is the story of Colt, a young boy whose mother has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It is set to go international, and Ms. Jenkins says she hopes the book will make more people aware of the devastating effect the disease can have on families.
“It affects a person’s ability to do even the simplest things,” says Ms. Jenkins. “Even tying shoes or going for groceries can become a nightmare.”
That nightmare could cost developing nations as much as $550 billion in national income over the next ten years, according to the study.
In Who Is Pee Dee?, Ms. Jenkins explains how some of these new Parkinson’s patients might be affected through various characters including:
• Mask, a stuffed bear that represents the way the disease can wear people down and rob them of their affectionate personalities.
• Pee Dee, a stuffed bear that explains the disease to the story’s main character, Colt,
• Colt, who believes his mother doesn’t love him because she is often too tired to play.
• The adults around Colt’s mother, who are upset and unsure of what to do.
“This disease affects everyone in a family,” says Ms. Jenkins. “When one person has PD, everyone around them does too in some ways.”
For more information, contact the author directly via kmj@ParkinsonsInThePark.org.
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