Don't Get Sacked by Parkinson's - Know the Full Range of Symptoms Football Legend Forrest Gregg Tackles Parkinson's Disease
ATLANTA, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of Parkinson's Awareness Month, former professional football player and coach Forrest Gregg is teaming up with UCB, Inc. to share his personal experiences living with Parkinson's disease (PD) as part of UCB's Parkinson's More Than Motion™ campaign.
Gregg spent 40 years fighting for victory on the football field, but little did he know that after retirement, he would begin one of the biggest battles of his life. In 2011, Gregg became one of the more than 60,000 Americans each year who are diagnosed with PD, a chronic, progressive, neurological disease.i
When he first learned of his diagnosis, Gregg adopted the same attitude that earned him the nickname "Iron Man" during his playing days: he didn't let PD sideline him. He recently learned that along with the typical motor aspects of PD – such as slowness and tremors, or stiffness – there are also a wide range of non-motor symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping or memory problems associated with the disease.ii
Gregg is sharing his story through a reality-style video series that is part of the Parkinson's More than Motion™ Facebook community. The series follows Gregg and his wife as they cope with the diagnosis and educate themselves about the full range of PD symptoms. The video series also explores the importance of building an integrated care team that includes family, friends and health care providers, such as a physical therapist and a movement disorder specialist – a neurologist that specializes in the management of PD.
"My journey with Parkinson's reminds me of my days playing and coaching professional football. It requires perseverance, hard work, dedication and learning all you can about the disease," says Gregg. "Understanding the full range of Parkinson's symptoms and creating a game plan to manage the disease has helped me maintain my focus and keep my eye on the ball."
Gregg is also featured on the cover of the newest issue of the More Than Motion™ magazine, a free publication available through the Facebook community.
About Parkinson's More Than Motion™
Parkinson's More than Motion™ is an online community of more than 42,000 fans where people with PD, their families, friends and caregivers are adding their voices to the conversation about the full range of PD symptoms. In addition to the video series and magazine, the online community offers a downloadable Parkinson's Well-Being Map™, a tool to help patients track all of their PD symptoms that can be used as a reference for doctor appointments.
Also this year, Parkinson's More Than Motion™ will be meeting people on the ground at a number of the National Parkinson Foundation's "Moving Day" walk events throughout the country. To find a walk near you visit www.Parkinson.org.
Parkinson's More Than Motion™ will also have a presence at the Unity Walk in New York City on April 27 and the World Parkinson's Congress in Montreal, Canada on October 1 - 4, 2013.
To learn more about Parkinson's More than Motion™ and to view Forrest Gregg's video series, visit Facebook.com/ParkinsonsMoreThanMotion.
About Parkinson's Disease
Approximately one million Americans currently live with Parkinson's disease, a chronic, progressive, neurological disease that occurs when certain cells in the brain stop producing enough of a chemical called dopamine.iii Dopamine plays several important roles in the body, and a lack of dopamine can cause a wide range of symptoms affecting multiple body systems. iv,v,vi
Symptoms of Parkinson's disease are typically categorized as either affecting motor function or non-motor function. The cardinal motor symptoms include stiffness, tremors, slow movements and postural instability.vii In addition, the medical and research communities are starting to better understand the full spectrum of symptoms that can have a significant impact on a patient's life. It is estimated that 60 percent of people with Parkinson's have two or more non-motor symptoms, and that 25 percent have four or more.viii Common non-motor symptoms include:
- Cognitive changes, such as memory problems or trouble paying attentionix
- Depression, anxiety, irritability, decreased motivation or apathyx
- Sleep disorders, ranging from insomnia to drowsinessxi,xii
- Skin disorders, such as rashes or dandruffxiii
- Gastrointestinal or urinary disordersxiv
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurological disorder affecting older people in the United States. xv Each year, between 50,000 and 60,000 new cases of Parkinson's disease are diagnosed in the U.S.; worldwide it is estimated that 7 to 10 million people have Parkinson's disease. xvi Most people are diagnosed with the condition when they are in their sixties;xvii and men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson's than women.xviii
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 9,000 people in about 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.4 billion in 2012. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).
Andrea Levin, Associate Director, Public Relations & Communications, UCB, Inc.
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viii Shulman, et al, Movement Disorders, 2001, cited in Waters, Diagnosis and Management of Parkinson's Disease, 2008