03 April 2017

"ME AT MY BEST": People with Parkinson’s are much more than their disease


BIAL launches international campaign for World Parkinson's Day
To inspire and empower millions of people living with Parkinson’s around the world, Bial launches a touching campaign for the World Parkinson's Day showing that it is possible to live a normal life, and successfully perform everyday tasks.
Imagine being unable to control your own body. In your mind, everything is exactly like it was; but your brain seems to have forgotten how to tell your body to do everyday tasks like tying up shoes or using a toothbrush.
This is how it feels to live with Parkinson’s. A real challenge for the 10 million people diagnosed with Parkinson’s around the world. Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease – an illness that affects nerve cells in the brain. For those who live with these symptoms and for their families, Parkinson’s means much more than just physical symptoms: it also means a loss of their independence.
In order to raise awareness and help people not lose their self-esteem, people with Parkinson's were invited to star on a video that shows them at their best, focusing on what they can do instead of what they cannot do: buttoning up shirts, putting on make-up, tying up shoes or even dancing and playing guitar. Simple everyday tasks alongside a cheerful, feel-good tune developed specially for the campaign.
António Portela, BIAL CEO, explains the positive tone of the campaign: "Parkinson's can really change people's lives, but it's very important that they do not lose their self-esteem. That is why we wanted to counter the negative portraits of people with Parkinson's and show everyone what they really can do. Hopefully, we can inspire and empower the millions of people living with Parkinson’s to never give up on their dignity. BIAL’s aim is to help the lives of people with Parkinson’s even if it’s to help with one small thing at a time."
The campaign will be officially launched in April, within the scope of World Parkinson's Day, celebrated on April 11th, and it will be featured on BIAL's website, across BIAL’s social media and on the European Parkinson's Disease Association’s (EPDA) social media channels too.

Background about Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease  is a neurodegenerative, chronic and progressive disease, characterized by massive depletion of the neurotransmitter dopamine because of degeneration of specific neurons in the brain.
Epidemiologic evidence points to a complex interaction between genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. The clinical manifestations usually start after the age of 50 years (average age for diagnosis is approximately 60 years) and the prevalence is estimated at 300 per 100,000 inhabitants, increasing to 1/100 over the age of 55–60 years. As per the European Parkinson Disease Association, it is estimated that 1.2 million people in the European Union.
Parkinson Disease’s diagnosis is based on clinical observation. Patients usually present some of the three cardinal signs: resting tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia. Other frequent Parkinson Disease’s symptoms are postural instability, masked face and decreased eye blinking, stooped posture, and decreased arm swing. The disease is progressively disabling the patients that see how their normal life and activities of daily living are impaired.

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