Parkinson’s Disease: The Little Known Facts


If you are one of those who have seen the movie Love & Other Drugs, you are probably familiar with what Parkinson’s disease is. We associate Parkinson’s with hand tremors and old age. But is it really just an “old people” disease?

Let’s find out some of the little known facts and myths about Parkinson’s disease:

Age is but a number

In reference to the movie Love & Other Drugs, we all know that the female protagonist suffers from Parkinson’s and no, she wasn’t old. It is proven that it is a misconception that Parkinson’s only affects the old – it can affect people under age 40, too as Parkinson’s can be genetic.

Parkinson’s = tremors only

It is true that tremors are a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease but that isn’t all. In fact, some people don’t even suffer from it. Other than tremors, some of the symptoms include slurring speech, jerky body or facial movements, drooling and swallowing.

Parkinson’s is preventable

Over the years, one of the most common misconceptions about Parkinson’s is that it is a preventable disease. Of course, Parkinson’s can be controlled with medication but it is not confirmed if it is preventable as nobody is certain of its cause yet. On top of that, it is believed to be a genetic predisposition, which renders it unpreventable.

A heavy burden?

It is a common mental image in most of our heads as soon as we mention “Parkinson’s” – old man with a walking stick, shaking hands can’t hold a glass, spills on shirt, change shirt, cycle repeats. It is seared into our heads from the mass media but the reality is that it’s far from true. People who suffer from Parkinson’s experience different levels of severity and most of the time, they go on with their lives normally. With some regular exercise, healthy diet and prescribed medication, this is no burden for them or for their family.

So, it seems that Parkinson’s disease has been a very misunderstood sickness and I hope that on this day, your perception of this illness will take a paradigm shift and understand that these people are still regular people with regular lives.


Image: by Up Your Ego


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