David Drew MP backs campaign for more Parkinson's awareness
Earlier this month I attended a parliamentary event to mark World Parkinson’s Day and find out more about the work being done by Parkinson’s UK to combat this serious health condition.
Every hour, two people in the UK are told they have Parkinson's – a neurological condition which gets worse over time and can affect anyone. Symptoms can include tremor, painful muscle cramps, difficulties speaking and swallowing, anxiety, depression, dementia and hallucinations.
Currently, 145,000 people in the UK are living with the condition and numbers are rising, largely due to an ageing population.
World Parkinson’s Day saw Parkinson’s UK launch a new marketing campaign to increase understanding of Parkinson’s as a serious health condition and the impact it has on people living with the condition and their families and friends. I was pleased to support this event and do my bit to help spread the message.
According to recent research from Parkinson’s UK, 8 in 10 people with Parkinson’s believe that awareness and understanding is low because people don’t consider it to be a serious condition - and only associate it with one symptom - a tremor.
The charity is urging people to visit its website www.parkinsons.org.uk/parkinsons-is to learn more about the condition.
I am regularly invited to events which help to promote research and raise awareness because early intervention can be crucial for many health conditions, and am keen to support these.
I have had my own brush with the NHS this month, following treatment for glaucoma. It was, once again, a reminder of how scientific expertise and research has led to real improvements in treatment for so many conditions. I’ve been forced me to take a little time out from my parliamentary and constituency engagements this April, but hope to be back to work fully soon, and thank you for all your get well soon messages.