LONDON, July 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On July 22, the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) is partnering with the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society to support the 6th Annual World Brain Day. This year, World Brain Day is dedicated to raising awareness for Parkinson's Disease, a neurodegenerative brain disease that affects the mind, movement and almost all aspects of brain function.
Through this initiative, the World Federation of Neurology is working alongside more than 122 global organizations to advocate for improved patient care, education, and additional research for those living with Parkinson's Disease and their caregivers.
"Parkinson's Disease affects people of all ages, including one in 100 people over the age of 60," explained Prof. Tissa Wijeratne, World Brain Day Chair. "The prevalence of this disease is on the rise, making our actions today vital to improving the lives of those who have been and will be diagnosed, particularly during this global health crisis."
To elevate Parkinson's Disease awareness, WFN is hosting a free webinar on July 22 at 12:30pm Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) with some of the world's leading neurologists, patient advocates and Parkinson's Disease experts to offer vital insights on the disease, as well as discuss the current state of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. To register to attend, visit www.wfneurology.org.
Parkinson's Disease as a Global Issue
"Parkinson's Disease affects more than 7 million people around the globe—that's nearly equivalent to the entire population of New York City," explained Prof. Tissa Wijerante, the World Brain Day chair. "Our goal is to raise awareness for Parkinson's Disease and its impact on society in an effort to improve access to quality neurological care and life-changing treatments."
While the distinctive symptom of Parkinson's Disease is shaking and slowness of movement, the degenerative disease affects movement, the mind and brain function generally disrupting sleep and cognitive ability, causing pain and gastrointestinal issues, provoking anxiety and depression, and reducing motivation and quality of life. Early diagnosis and access to effective treatment are vital in order to help patients find relief and enhance their quality of life. People with Parkinson's Disease may be particularly impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic and are encouraged to keep in contact with their healthcare providers.
"More than one in four people living with Parkinson's Disease were initially misdiagnosed," said Prof. Wolfgang Grisold, the WFN's Secretary-General. "Many symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are poorly recognized and undertreated, which is detrimental for those living with the disease. There is a profound need for improved standards of care across the globe."
Move Together to End Parkinson's Disease
"The impact of Parkinson's Disease extends throughout the whole body and reaches every corner of the world," said Claudia Trenkwalder, MD, President of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. "With 60,000 diagnosed each year in the United States alone, it is critical that patients have access to quality care."
COVID-19 is a dramatic reminder that healthcare is a global issue. Let us remember that Parkinson's Disease is also a daily challenge faced by all ages and people, but mainly by the elderly.
To advocate for patients, World Brain Day is spreading awareness by asking people all over the world to Move Together to End Parkinson's Disease through the use of the hashtags #WorldBrainDay and #WBD2020.
"Brain health has never been more vital or relevant," said WFN President Prof. William Carroll. "When the world unites against this crippling movement disorder on World Brain Day, we will demonstrate the power of advocacy and awareness."
Throughout the coming months, the World Federation of Neurology will stand together with other organizations in asking patients, caregivers and loved ones around the globe to share their stories about Parkinson's on social media. We will also be providing vital information on how to navigate COVID-19 while living with Parkinson's Disease.
"When we all move together, we raise the voices of those impacted while uniting the world in a mission to end Parkinson's Disease," said Prof. Carroll. "The World Federation of Neurology's World Brain Day aims to energise those with Parkinson's Disease to drive research, improve standards of care and advocacy for the seven million people living with this disease today and those who will one day be diagnosed."
SOURCE World Federation of Neurology