July 21, 2016 – Parkinson Increase?


Anchor lead:  Are the numbers of people who develop Parkinson’s disease increasing? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Parkinson’s disease has a number of symptoms, but perhaps the most distressing is the tremor that accompanies movement, rendering even the most common tasks challenging.  Now new data report that more people than ever are being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  Jon Weingart, a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Weingart:  It could be that the threshold for diagnosis is less. So that milder cases are being diagnosed.  But it could just simply be that if it’s by decade, and there are more people who are 70, 80 and 90 than there were 10 years ago, then it would look like the incidence was higher.  :15

Weingart says if the number of people who develop the condition really is increasing, the consequences will be far reaching.

Weingart: People who have Parkinson’s disease usually come out of the workforce. With the improved care of people with Parkinson’s disease they would be living longer. As the disease progresses or advances they become more disabled, it oftentimes leads to a need for care.  :14

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.