If it’s any indication of the need for answers, more than 1,600 forward-thinking people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) have already taken steps to donate their brain when the time comes. They’ve done this knowing it will not benefit themselves, but may benefit future generations of their own families (since there can be a genetic pre-disposition) as well as strangers. PD is the largest diagnosis reported of a single disease by those pre-registering with The Brain Donor Project, something very worth calling attention to during this Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month.
There’s no cure yet, and it’s hard to treat the main symptoms, which include tremor, muscle stiffness, some movement problems and trouble with balance. Yes, there’s hope, because there are promising new drugs on the horizon to slow the progression of those symptoms—but no cure. Yet. In the meantime, a million or so Americans have PD, and as humans are living longer than ever, its prevalence will only increase.
The best way to advance the science of Parkinson’s Disease (and many other neurological disorders) is to consider participating in a clinical trial, whether or not you have PD. Visit clinicaltrials.gov to learn more. And, even if you’re not able to participate, please consider donating your brain to neuroscience research when the time comes. Make arrangements now and talk to your family. Don’t put it off, thinking you’ll have time to do all that later. This gift is too important to leave that to chance.