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Parkinson’s Foundation program helps local residents

The Parkinson’s Foundation is hosting a virtual online program Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease: You Are Not Alone on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in collaboration with Duke Health Movement Disorders Center and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine – Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence.

This program will help inform people with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones on the latest research, treatments and tips for living well and coping for those diagnosed with this neurological disease at a young age.

One million Americans are living with Parkinson’s, with 60,000 people newly diagnosed each year. Young Onset Parkinson's disease occurs in people younger than 50 years of age. While symptoms are similar to late onset PD, it's important to understand the challenges YOPD individuals often face at financial, family and employment levels.

"I was diagnosed with YOPD nine years ago. For the first five years I was not connected with the PD community in my city, but when I did, a whole new world opened up for me,” JR Russell of Apex, NC, who is participating in the program said. “I met others who were just like me and I found programs for exercise and personal well-being. I look forward to participating in this program and interacting with others who are on a similar journey in life with YOPD."

This program will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Miriam Sklerov from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine – a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence. Participants will also hear from social workers at both UNC and Duke, as well as people who are living with YOPD. Topics include: disclosing your diagnosis, parenting and caregiving and building your support network. Participants will learn more about the differences in YOPD symptoms and treatment, and how to adopt new strategies to live well with Parkinson’s disease.

The Parkinson’s Foundation is the nation’s leading community for people living with Parkinson’s. Improving care, advancing research towards a cure and providing necessary education on PD are pillars of the Foundation’s mission.

“At the Parkinson’s Foundation, we understand that these programs are highly beneficial to the local PD community and gives people an outlet to learn more while connecting with others living with the disease,” said Carolinas Chapter Development Director Dianna Parrish. “Empowering the community with the tools and resources they need to live better is a vital part of our mission.”

For more information or to register, visit www.parkinson.org/CarolinasYOPD or call 770-450-0792.

For more information about the Parkinson's Foundation, visit www.parkinson.org or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

Parkinson’s Disease affects an estimated one million Americans and 10 million worldwide. It is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

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