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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 4, 2019 04:36 PM
From: Representative Valerie S. Gaydos
To: All House members
Subject: Designating April 2019 as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
In the very near future, I will be introducing a resolution recognizing April 2019 as “Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

Having been a caregiver to a mother with Parkinson’s Disease for 15 years, I am acutely aware how devastating this chronic, progressive movement disorder is on the patient, as well as their families. Symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, extreme slowness of movement, impaired balance, swallowing and speaking difficulties are common, as are several non-motor symptoms that seriously affect quality of life.

The cause of PD is unknown and there is presently no cure, therapy, or drug to halt the progression of the disease. Treatment options are available to control the symptoms; however, these medications and treatments lose their effectiveness, generally after 4 to 8 years. And although treatments are initially effective in relieving the symptoms of PD, 50-90% of patients develop complications. While Parkinson's disease itself is not fatal, the possible complications from the disease can be deadly. Approximately 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD each year and it currently impacts nearly 1 million people throughout the country. Between 2012-2016, a total of 6,707 Pennsylvanians lost their life due to this incapacitating disease and its accompanying complications.

Further efforts in research, testing and education are crucial in order to advance toward improved early detection methods, the discovery of more effective treatments to stop the progression of PD and, ultimately to find a cure for this devastating disease.

I encourage you to join me in proclaiming April 2019 as “Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month” in an effort to increase public awareness of this debilitating disease throughout the Commonwealth. Thank you in advance for your support.

Introduced as HR215