Reflecting on Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson's disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. Early in the disease, the most obvious symptoms are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. 

The cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown, but is believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. There is also an increased risk in people exposed to certain pesticides and among those who have had prior head injuries, while there is a reduced risk in tobacco smokers and those who drink coffee or tea.

There is no cure for Parkinson's disease.

Public awareness campaigns include World Parkinson's Day (on the birthday of James Parkinson, April 11th) and the use of a red tulip as the symbol of the disease. People with Parkinson's who have increased the public's awareness of the condition include actor Michael J. Fox, Olympic cyclist Davis Phinney, professional boxer Muhammad Ali, and actor Alan Alda.

For many years Concord-Saint Andrew's has provided space for the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area (PFNCA) to have weekly exercise classes. September 22nd marks the Walk Off Parkinson's event at Washington Nationals Park going on during our worship time.