Feb 19, 2019 0 Comments in Uncategorized by

The number of people living with Parkinson’s disease worldwide could double in the next two decades, experts project.

The following are excerpts from the above cited article.

In a report warning of a possible Parkinson’s “pandemic,” researchers say the stage is set for cases to surge to 12 million or more by 2040. There are ways to slow the projected rise in Parkinson’s, said Dr Ray Dorsey, a professor of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.”We believe there’s a lot we can do toward prevention,” he said.

At the top of the list is reducing people’s exposure to certain pesticides, solvents and other chemicals that research has linked to Parkinson’s risk.As an example, Dorsey pointed to the weed-killer paraquat. “It’s been strongly linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s, and it’s banned in 32 countries,” he said. It’s still used in the United States, however. And, Dorsey noted, some countries that have banned it — such as England — continue to make and export it to other countries, including the United States.

Between 1990 and 2015, the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s worldwide doubled, to just over 6 million. By 2040, estimates are about 12 million. “There is an urgent and pressing need for the world to wake up and recognize there is a coming wave of Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Michael Okun, medical director of the Parkinson’s Foundation and an author of the report.

There is also some evidence that certain healthy lifestyle habits are protective — namely, vigorous exercise and eating a Mediterranean diet.

But beyond prevention, health care systems have to prepare for a surge in Parkinson’s, according to Okun. “The numbers of patients with Parkinson’s disease are growing at rates that will overwhelm the world’s health care systems,” he said.

Already in the United States, more than 30 million people provide care to an adult aged 50 or older, Dorsey pointed out.

“The main reason,” he said, “is neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”

The report was published recently in a supplement to the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

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