Parkinson's Disease

By: Hannah McAdams

About Parkinson's

Parkinson's Disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. The disorder can cause tremors, stiffness and slowing of movement. Common symptoms of Parkinson's disease are: tremors, slowed movement, muscle stiffness, balance and posture issues, decreased ability of unconscious movements like blinking, smiling, or swinging arms when you walk, speech problems and writing changes.
How Parkinson's Disease Affects the Body -- The Doctors

How It Affects Life

Parkinson's causes constant re-adjustment as the disease slowly progresses. Things that can be considered easy become a challenge.

In Daily Life These Tasks Can be Difficult:

  • getting dressed
  • driving
  • eating
  • drinking
  • cooking
  • sitting and standing

In The Classroom:

  • Writing
  • Sitting in desks
  • Participating in Activities
'Put yourself in my shoes' - Sarah has Parkinson's

How Teachers Can Help

  • Teachers can become educated on Parkinson's Disease to make it easier on the student
  • Encourage peer support
  • Encourage the student
  • Be patient with the student
  • Understand that the movement and stiffness is involuntary and work with student with activities and schoolwork.
Michael J. Fox then and now

Michael J. Fox

Life of Michael J. Fox

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Michael J. Fox is known for his appearance as Marty in the Back to The Future Movies or Milo Thatch in Disney's Atlantis The Lost Empire. Fox was diagnosed at 29, after realizing a twitch in his pinky finger. He originally thought he injured his shoulder on set during a stunt. He is now in the late mild stage of the disease, and takes a drug called Sinemet, which controls the mild symptoms such as tremors in his hands and tapping in his feet. When diagnosed Fox was told he would need to retire in 10 years, but 22 years later Fox is still acting and working. Fox hasn't allowed Parkinson's to slow him down and stop him from doing what he loves. He founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2000. Since then, the foundation has found a drug cocktail that controls the symptoms of Parkinson's to play a person with Parkinson's disease. Fox has also written three books; A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to The Future, Always Looking Up, and Lucky Man.

Sources

Mayo Clinic Staff. "Parkinson's Disease." Symptoms. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 07 July 2015. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.

"Living with Parkinson's." Living with Parkinson's. Parkinson's Australia, n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.

"Parkinson's Disease Daily Activities, Care, and Energy." WebMD. WebMD, 2016. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.

"How Are Children Affected by Parkinson's in the Family?" - Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF). Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 2015. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.

"The Biography of Michael J. Fox: On a Quest to Cure Parkinson's Disease | Parkinson's Disease Information." The Michael J. Fox Foundation. The Michael J. Fox Foundation, 2016. Web. 09 Feb. 2016.