UK covid
Medical staff treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients at Milton Keynes University Hospital, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Reuters/Toby Melville

World Parkinson's Day is an annual event observed on April 11th to raise awareness about Parkinson's disease, a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people around the world. This disorder afflicts the nervous system by impeding movement and is often characterised by tremors.

In the UK, World Parkinson's Day is an important day for people living with Parkinson's and their families, as it provides an opportunity to raise awareness and advocate for better support, care, and research into the disease.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive disorder that affects the brain and causes a range of symptoms, including tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement, and difficulty with balance and coordination. It is estimated that around 145,000 people in the UK live with Parkinson's disease, and this number is expected to rise in the coming years as the population ages.

To mark World Parkinson's Day in the UK, a number of organisations and advocacy groups have planned events and initiatives to raise awareness about the disease and support those living with Parkinson's. The Parkinson's UK charity, for example, has launched a campaign called "Light up blue" to shine a light on Parkinson's this World Parkinson's Day by lighting up buildings, monuments and landmarks blue to create discourse.

Parkinson's UK aims to raise awareness about the complex and varied nature of Parkinson's disease and the ways in which it affects people's daily lives. Their campaigns also feature a series of videos and personal stories from people living with Parkinson's, showcasing the different experiences and challenges faced by those with the disease.

Another initiative launched to mark World Parkinson's Day in the UK is the "Parkinson's 100 Challenge", which encourages people to take on a physical challenge to raise money and awareness for Parkinson's UK. Participants can choose their own challenges, such as running 100 miles, cycling 100 kilometres, or swimming 100 lengths, and seek sponsorship from friends and family to support their efforts.

In addition to these events, a number of virtual conferences and webinars have been organised to mark World Parkinson's Day in the UK. These events bring together researchers, healthcare professionals, and people living with Parkinson's to discuss the latest developments in treatment and care and to share best practices and insights into managing the disease.

One of the key issues being discussed at these events is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living with Parkinson's. Research has shown that people with Parkinson's are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19, and many have experienced disruptions to their treatment and care as a result of the pandemic.

To address these challenges, healthcare professionals and advocacy groups are calling for greater support and resources for people with Parkinson's, including access to virtual consultations and remote monitoring technologies. These initiatives can help to ensure that people with Parkinson's continue to receive the care and support they need, even in the midst of a global health crisis.

World Parkinson's Day in the UK serves as a reminder of the ongoing need for greater research and investment into the causes and treatments of Parkinson's disease. While there are medications and therapies available to manage the symptoms of Parkinson's, there is currently no cure, and more needs to be done to support the development of new treatments and ultimately find a cure.

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential of gene therapy and other innovative treatments to address the underlying causes of Parkinson's disease. Advocacy groups and researchers are calling for increased funding and resources to support this research, and for greater collaboration between academia, industry, and healthcare providers to accelerate the development and implementation of new treatments.