Parkinson's disease is the world's second most common neurodegenerative disorder, behind Alzheimer's disease. This disease affects nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine and its symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. Although certain treatments can help with the symptoms, a cure is yet to be found.
Tomorrow marks World Parkinson's Day which is being observed in order to raise awareness of the realities of living with the progressive disorder.
With the world continuing to age, the number of Parkinson's patients increases every year. Currently, it is estimated that there are around 10 million people battling with the Parkinson's disease and it is projected that the number of patients will hit 30 million by 2030.
The Parkinson's Disease Association of Turkey has been helping patients and their families. Professor Rafi Çakmur, the president of the association, said that there are 150,000 Parkinson's patients in Turkey and the number is growing due to the aging population. He said that the association organizes events and conferences to help and educate patients and their families, aiming to reach out to 2,000 people every year.
"People fear Parkinson's disease a lot but with early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to have a high quality of life. There is a lot of research and many studies aiming to cure Parkinson's. We know what causes it and hope to have a permanent treatment soon," said professor Çakmur.