The state of Alabama and the city of Birmingham have named April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month, part of the larger national Parkinson’s Awareness Month as designated by the American Parkinson Disease Association, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the Parkinson’s Action Network.
Governor Robert Bentley and Mayor William Bell issued proclamations establishing April as a time to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and to offer support to individuals living with the devastating disease. Public education and advocacy are essential elements, along with research and clinical care, to combatting Parkinson’s.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Neurology is home to one of the nation’s leading Parkinson’s disease treatment and research programs. The UAB Parkinson’s Disease Information and Referral Center offers educational, emotional and political support to Parkinson’s disease patients and their families. Established in 1978, it is one of the oldest American Parkinson Disease Association-supported Parkinson’s disease information and referral centers in the United States.
In 2013, a grant from The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation established the Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson’s Disease Center of Excellence at UAB.
UAB has the only program for movement disorders in Alabama and serves dystonia and Parkinson’s patients from Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Louisiana.
There are over 1 million Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s, and the prevalence of the disease is expected to double by 2040.
By: Bob Shepard