A study published in December 2022, in partnership with the Parkinson’s and Michael J. Fox Foundations in the United States (and including extensive data from Ontario) has found that the prevalence of Parkinson’s Disease is much higher than previously believed, especially in the 65 year old and above age category. The Ontario rates were even higher than found in much of the American data.
Canada has one of the highest rates of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in the world. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and is responsible for significant disability, increased risks of dementia and mortality. There are many reasons why accurate estimates of the numbers of people with PD are important. In addition to being crucial for health care planning, research funding, insurance coverage and avoidance of drug shortages, early identification/diagnosis is key to good outcomes.
The County of Lanark Leeds and Grenville has one of the largest percentages of seniors in Ontario, creating even more stress on an already fragile health care system. “This research underscores the need for a multidisciplinary approach, a way of administering health care that many health care professionals are trying to promote.” says Pat Evans, local Parkinson’s advocate. “We also need new ways of diagnosing, as it is difficult to access a neurologist, let alone a movement disorder specialist. The waitlists are long and there are not enough neurologists being trained. I have seen so many people struggling over the past few years,” says Evans, “including those waiting on a waitlist, many with complex needs. And I have been to too many funerals.”
April 1st marks the beginning of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a time when people with Parkinson’s from around the world and the organizations that provide support, advocacy and research funding, remind neighbours, friends and governments of the resilience and determination of the Parkinson’s community.
On that day, pots of tulips will be sold to help raise money for local services at Barnabe’s, Andress’ and Mitchell’s Your Independent Grocers in Perth, Smiths Falls and Carleton Place between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.(or until supplies run out).
Pat Evans firstname.lastname@example.org