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Parkinson’s Disease: A couple shares their personal journey with the disease

This week, music legend Neil Diamond announced he is retiring from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The 76-year-old known for “Sweet Caroline”, among many other hits was planning concerts in Australia and New Zealand as part of a 50th Anniversary tour. That tour is now cancelled as he fights the disease.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that can cause tremors and slowness of movement.

The National Institutes of Health define Parkinson’s Disease as:

“…a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. PD usually affects people over the age of 60.  Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually.  In some people the disease progresses more quickly than in others.  As the disease progresses, the shaking, or tremor, which affects the majority of people with PD may begin to interfere with daily activities.  Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional change.”

Although there is no current cure for Parkinson’s Disease, there are medications and therapies that can help lesson or delay the symptoms.

Marni Hughes  sat down with a local couple who knows the disease all to well. Twenty years ago, John Schofield was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. John and his wife Suzie  shared their journey as a family battling Parkinson’s and also has advice for others.

If you'd like to learn more about resources to help better understand and manage Parkinson's Disease, click on the links below.

https://www.apdaparkinson.org/contact/

https://www.apdaparkinson.org/community/northwest/about/board-of-directors/