Donate to Parkinson’s Disease Research, Patient Care and Education

More than one million people in the United States have Parkinson’s disease. One in 100 Americans over the age of 60 have the disease, with an average age of onset being 65 years old. As many as five to ten percent of people under the age of 40 are diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s. With statistics such as these, donating to Northwestern Memorial Foundation to further Parkinson’s disease research has never been more crucial.

The early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease often mimic the symptoms of other illnesses and are therefore difficult to detect in many situations. Symptoms may be brushed off as part of the natural aging process as well. Symptoms may need to be observed over a period of time to fully reach a conclusive diagnosis. There are four primary features of Parkinson’s disease:

  • Slow movement
  • Rigidity or stiffness (difficulty bending the arms or legs)
  • Postural instability (stooped or slumped posture)
  • Rest tremor (shaking in hand or foot when muscles are relaxed)

Two of the four primary features must be present for a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Patients with Parkinson’s disease also experience secondary symptoms such as shuffling gait, loss of facial expression, depression, anxiety, dementia, confusion and a host of others.  Your support for Northwestern Memorial Foundation will ensure that physicians on staff continue to have the resources necessary to effectively diagnose this debilitating disease.

Parkinson’s disease is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine.  However, scientists are unsure of the exact reason why the nerve cells deteriorate. Possible reasons include exposure to toxins, advanced age and genetic predisposition. Symptoms appear when 60 percent of dopamine-producing neurons are damaged. The presence of Parkinson’s disease needs to be confirmed by a neurologist with experience in Parkinson’s disease, and when you make a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you are an integral part in helping Northwestern retain those expert neurologists on staff.

Treatment for Parkinson’s disease should be overseen by a dedicated medical team from Northwestern Medicine. Treatment options typically include medication. Other complementary therapies such as support groups, physical therapy, exercise and much more are often incorporated. In certain cases, surgery may be an appropriate response. Due to the nature of the disease, treatments for Parkinson’s disease often include family and other social support systems.  With your financial help to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, physicians on staff will continue to provide and expand their ability to address the plethora of needs for patients with Parkinson’s disease, both medical and emotional.

Parkinson’s disease can only be diagnosed when motor symptoms become evident. There may be a lengthy pre-motor symptom period, which makes early detection critical in finding disease-modifying treatments. With your generous support, Northwestern Medicine specialists will continue to ensure that patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease are getting the best possible care.

Parkinson’s Disease Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Donating to Northwestern Memorial Foundation to advance the research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease is one of the best ways you can make a difference. With so many people affected by the disease, every dollar donated will go towards making Parkinson’s disease a more manageable illness. Promising research is being conducted every day. Working towards a possible cure is only possible thanks to the generous donations of people like you.

Donate Now