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Parkinson’s Awareness

Dr. George Downham

Parkinson’s Awareness is a campaign led by the Parkinson’s Foundation which focuses on the many symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and how to address them.

The American Academy of Family Physicians' definition of Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with significant morbidity and mortality. The condition looks different in various patients and can progress in different ways, so not everyone diagnosed with Parkinson’s will have the exact same experience.

However, many symptoms are fairly typical for most patients, and these can be the most difficult symptoms to manage. These symptoms include very slow movement, which physicians call “bradykinesia”, stiffness in the movement of limbs, also referred to as “rigidity”, and a tremor.

There are also many other common symptoms that are not associated with movement, such as sleeping disorders, depression, constipation, fatigue, and changes in smell and taste. There are many different medication options that could help with these various symptoms.

              As mentioned before, Parkinson’s is a progressive disease which means it tends to worsen as patients age. It is very difficult to predict the progression in an individual patient; however.

If you are concerned about a possible Parkinson’s diagnosis in you or a loved one, it would be very helpful to consult your primary care physician as soon as possible. Visit the website of the Parkinson’s Foundation for more great information about this disease and how you can help any loved ones with this diagnosis.

Dr. Downham is a resident physician who sees patients of all ages and provides obstetrical services at Lone Star Family Health Center, a non-profit 501©3 Federally Qualified Health Center operating facilities in Conroe, Spring, Willis, Grangerland, and Huntsville, and serving as home to a fully integrated Family Medicine Residency Program to increase the number of Family Medicine physicians for Texas and our community.