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  • Writer's pictureLori Williams

Let's talk about Parkinson's disease: causes, symptoms, treatments, resources

It’s estimated that Parkinson’s disease affects 1 million Americans. Ninety-six percent are diagnosed after age 50, and the incidence of disease increases with age. Since April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Senior Services Expert Lori Williams welcomes the CEO of the Parkinson’s Foundation, John Lehr.

John discusses:

- What Parkinson’s disease is + the symptoms

- The potential causes

- Treatment plans and the importance of a care partner

- Important resources for those with Parkinson’s

John draws from the wealth of knowledge from the Parkinson’s Foundation for a comprehensive, compassionate look at the disease. He echoes the purpose of the foundation: educating people with Parkinson’s as well as their care partners / families on what they can expect, and how to live as well as they possibly can.

Topics discussed:

- Parkinson’s disease

- Symptoms of Parkinson’s

- The Parkinson’s Foundation

- Causes and treatment of Parkinson’s

- Parkinson’s tremors

- Dopamine / mental health

- Care partners

Takeaways from this episode:

- Early symptoms of Parkinson’s affect movement, but other body systems are affected: cognition, mental health, GI, sleep, senses, and more. Everyone is impacted differently.

- Parkinson’s disease has unknown causes, but there’s a genetic and potential environmental component (such as exposure to napalm in the Vietnam War).

- Treatments for Parkinson’s include deep brain stimulation, dopamine replacement therapy, exercise, and trying new things to keep the brain active and create new circuitry.

- Outcomes for Parkinson’s are much improved when a care partner is involved and the patient takes medication regularly, exercises and tries new activities.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Parkinson's Foundation:

Parkinson's Toll number:

1 800 4PD INFO

Parkinson's Revolution initiative:

To suggest a topic, be a guest or to support the podcast please email

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