What is Parkinson’s Disease?

This section will help you recognize the basics the Parkinson’s Disease, how Parkinson’s condition affects the brain, its symptoms and also ongoing research. Discover More

Education and Support

With the largest grassroots network throughout the country, the American Parkinson an illness Association (APDA) features a nationwide device of Chapters and also Information & Referral (I&R) Centers. Learn about our educational and support sources for people with Parkinson’s and also their household members.

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We space committed to clinical research and have to be a capital partner in many major Parkinson’s condition scientific breakthroughs, investing nearly $55 million in research because 1961. Read around what we fund and explore methods for funding.Learn More

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As the country’s biggest grassroots Parkinson’s organization, we depend on the ar to aid us in our cause. Join our ar today.

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APDA Story Phil


It to be the Weirdest Thing


It was the weirdest thing. At first I thought it was funny together in ha ha and also then peculiar. A pair of years later, i did no think it to be funny as in ha-ha at all, and also so started my life’s journey with PD.

For 4 or 5 years before my diagnosis through Parkinson’s condition in February, 2010 in ~ the age of 46, i noticed that as soon as I yawned, without fail, mine left arm and hand would tremor. I thought it was weird, however I passed the off together strange phenomena. I did no feel the need to obtain a clinical opinion until I attended a family members Christmas solemn event in 2007. Ns yawned and also tremored in front of mine nephew’s wife, who at the time, was a 3rd year clinical student. In the middle of the kitchen surrounded by family members I decided to tell my “yawn and also tremor” story come my nephew in-law and to all who would listen. She asked a couple of questions and performed a reflex test and upper body toughness test and also advised me that ns passed and also she had actually no idea that why ns tremor when I yawn. I assumed no news was good news, and I yes, really was not as well concerned around it anyway.

Fast forward to early on summer 2008, my life partner, Steve, and I made decision to take up serious roadway bike riding to prepare for a 300 mile/four job HIV/AIDS fundraising ride in August. No being in optimal physical condition and riding through others that were, I required to press myself to store up in the training group rides. Once I ended up being fatigued and we stopped for a protect against sign or a rest stop, ns felt the nervous on mine left side yet now consisting of my left leg and also foot. So now I was reasoning my glucose levels were low and I was diabetic, ns drank too lot caffeine, or this nervous is a regular body reaction to physical stress. I bought a glucose tester and monitored my blood sugars because that weeks through normal numbers. So i concluded that my biking tremor to be my natural solution to physics fatigue. Together the cultivate season went on and also I became more fit, the nervous frequency and severity throughout rides declined and also stopped. Mine mind to be eased. It had to be a common nervous system thing. In respectable 2008, Steve and I speak the 300 mile throughout southerly Wisconsin over 4 beautiful days without any type of tremor in ~ all. My lesson learned to be to stay in shape to protect against tremors native fatigue.

The winter of 2008-09 brought on some brand-new conditions that i did not quite understand. I started to an alert that my left hand was slow as soon as I to be showering and also shampooing mine hair. Ns felt strange as I walked. Mine left foot felt heavy when ns lifted that in a sitting position. My left fingers did not cooperate at the keyboard. Buttoning buttons ended up being awkward. Mine left pinkie was twitching, and also my left hand and arm tremored periodically when i was not fatigued. Several of the symptoms would certainly come and also go yet the slow movement was over there to stay.

I decided it was time to gain this confirm out. In so late January 2009, ns went to check out my GP. He can or would not diagnose anything so he advert me come a neurologist together I expected. I might not acquire an meeting to view the neurologist till April, so in the meantime, I started researching online. To be it a mind tumor?, was it MS?, was it ALS?, to be there too much stress in mine life?, was it PD? to be it another neurologic disease? I invested hours and also hours, night after ~ night, reading and sorting the end the junk native the trustworthy information. I was preoccupied and consumed through finding the end what to be wrong through me. I developed a sneaking skepticism that I had PD.

On April 20, 2009, I lastly had mine appointment with the neurologist. I had actually my perform of symptoms and also questions every typed up. She asked part questions and also conducted the regime neurological exam. She ruled out a mind tumor and also ALS to my relief. She explained to me the there were no diagnostic tests come diagnose numerous neurological conditions (unless I want a brain dissection) and also that we’d have to monitor the symptoms with time for a diagnosis yet Parkinson’s disease was a contender. She was no able to do a diagnosis but offered essential tremor together a less serious opportunity so she offered me a prescription that a beta blocker for that possibility and sent me top top my means with a ” come back in six months and we’ll walk from there.”

During the spring and also summer of 2009, the tremor and also slow movement on my left side persisted in my normal day to day living routine. Steve and I to plan to do the drive again in respectable so we began to train in earnest in May. During the twelve mainly training season, the tremor reared that is ugly head throughout times of remainder after fatiguing. The ride and also the first weekend the August easily arrived together with hot and humid weather. The 2009 ride confirmed to it is in much much more difficult difficulty due to heat, humidity, hills, rain, and also wind. As much as the 3rd day that the ride, mine symptoms were mild , yet on hot, humid, and windy work four, after three days of difficult riding, v sixty mile to go, mine tremors presented intermittently while riding. This elevated my level that concern and I perfect the ride however it absolutely was not easy. During the complying with months, my symptom of left-side occasional tremor, and slow motion seemed to have stabilized.

My second neurologist appointment was on December 9, 2009. I proved up through my typed perform of broadened symptoms and much more targeted questions. She performed the regime exam and also asked around the beta blocker medication efficacy. Ns reported that the meds had small effect on mine tremor. She again was no able to do a diagnosis and also advised me to and come back in six months. Returning to occupational that day, I started to notification an even more awkward emotion as i walked and also that my left arm was not swinging together I walked. Ns soon uncovered out others noticed this too. A pair of work later, ns was walking under an aisle at occupational in prior of another employee who noticed mine gait and also asked me if I had a stroke. This shocked me yet I described that I had something walking on neurologically and also quickly went back to my desk with mine mind gyeongju to call my neurologist and report this incident. I was able to talk to the neuro nurse who claimed she’d report this to the doctor and also get earlier to me. An hour later, the nurse dubbed me back saying the doctor prescribed and also ordered Sinemet which I known as a dopamine replacement Parkinson’s disease drug. So i asked, for this reason does this median I have PD? She claimed that “apparently” Parkinson’s an illness was mine diagnosis and also that the meds might verify it. Ns picked increase the meds and also advised my pharmacist of mine trepidation on this medicine at period 46. She agreed but I take it the meds home and decided no to take it them. The following day I educated the nurse ns agreed with the diagnosis but was no comfortable with starting the dopamine treatment considering mine age and also as i researched other different drugs for early onset patients. Ns asked her to do a request for me come the neuro because that a referral to the motion disorder clinic at the local teaching hospital/clinic. She obliged and the next day I got a call from the motion disorder clinic to make an appointment. The following available new patient meeting was in 5 months. Ns took it but asked to be placed on the release list.As lucky would have actually it, a eye storm hit and caused cancellations in early on February and also because i live close to the clinic, i was able to acquire in to check out the motion disorder specialist. She performed the exam, inquiry me questions, and the diagnosis was confirmed. Ns expressed my concern around taking levodopa right off the bat and she agreed and also discussed my treatment choices with me. I determined on a therapy plan and went home to walk on v my life.Over 2 years have passed and also life go on albeit with a various mindset.

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Today, mine symptoms room still more of a nuisance than a hindrance, however I understand that will change in time. I continue to work and also hope to because that a lengthy time. Steve and I love come travel and also we plan to insert an ext pins in our civilization map hanging on the hallway wall surface for year to come. I perform all the points I have constantly loved come do and also Parkinson’s an illness has readily available me an ext things to love come do. Ns now have actually a new hobby come explore and study top top a daily basis. I have actually met many new people who have actually enriched mine life. I currently exercise a lot an ext and take part in a weekly Parkinson’s disease exercise class and also a Parkinson’s an illness Zumba dance class. And I’m maintain for an additional 300 mile/four day fundraising ride. I am sure there will certainly be more weird things that will certainly come follow me my means in my future. I simply hope that they are more funny 보다 peculiar. I am so thankful for the loving support of mine friends and family, specifically Steve, my treatment giving life companion of twenty-three years. They every travel through me on my life’s journey with Parkinson’s condition and aid make my life more funny as in ha-ha than peculiar.