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Educating the Community About Parkinson's Disease

April 10th, 2015

St. Catherine’s Outpatient Parkinson’s Disease Information and Referral Center Coordinator Julie Garofalo, St. Catherine’s Community Outreach Coordinator Lisa Lasner, along with Catholic Home Care Community Liaison Allison Damiano, attended the American Parkinson Disease Association’s Annual Seminar on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at the Melville Marriot. The free educational event provided attendees information about current medical management, new treatment strategies and deep brain stimulation.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurologic disorder involving areas of the brain which control movement. In PD, dopamine-producing nerve cells(a brain chemical used to send messages to the muscles to make them move properly) are damaged, gradually reducing dopamine levels in the parts of the brain that control movement. This loss of dopamine causes a variety of movement problems. Symptoms in early PD are usually mild and may stay that way for some time. If you or someone you know has PD you are not alone. In the United States, 50,000-60,000 new cases of PD are diagnosed each year, adding to the one million people who currently have PD. The Center for Disease control rated complications from Parkinson’s disease as the 14th leading cause of death in the United States.  Worldwide, it is estimated that four to six million people suffer from the condition. There is hope, however, as scientists work towards a cure and make progress in identifying the best treatment options for patients. St. Catherine’s American Parkinson Disease Association Information and Referral Service is available to offer support and is staffed by a part-time nurse coordinator and a medical director who is a board certified neurologist.

For more information about St. Catherine’s Outpatient Parkinson’s Disease Information and Referral Center and free support group offerings, please call (631) 870-3444.