Walk increases awareness about Parkinson's Disease

Published On: Apr 12 2012 11:12:13 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 26 2012 12:06:36 PM EDT

(NewsUSA) - April has been declared Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month for the third year in a row. Around the world, Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and those touched by the disease gather together in their local communities to raise awareness by spreading the word about PD and educating people about the symptoms, treatments and facts.

One of the biggest events during the month is the Parkinson's Unity Walk (PUW) in New York's Central Park. On Saturday, April 28, thousands of PD supporters will gather in the world-famous park to help raise funds for PD research. Walkers will also have the opportunity to visit a variety of supporter booths where they can pick up educational resources about managing and coping with their disease. This year, PUW participants will have the chance to walk the "red carpet" at the Teva booth. Teva is committed to supporting the "stars" of the PD community: patients and their care partners. Booth visitors will have the opportunity to give a red carpet interview and have their photo taken by a professional.

"I cannot underscore how important and rewarding it has been for me to be involved in community action like the PUW," says PD "Star" Israel Robledo, who has been living with PD for 5 years. "Having a strong support system, an invested healthcare team and an effective medication regimen has allowed me to continue doing some of the things I love to do despite my diagnosis."

PD inhibits motor skill function and cognitive ability. While there is no cure for PD, there are many options to treat symptoms of the disease. Movement and coordination in the body are controlled by a chemical in the brain called dopamine. In PD, dopamine levels are reduced, affecting a person's ability to control movement. Most medications for PD treat dopamine deficiency by either helping to replace dopamine, preventing its breakdown or mimicking its effects.