Quality of care for Veteran’s includes raising awareness around important health topics. By highlighting some of the national health awareness campaigns each month, Veterans can get ideas, information, and resources on a variety of health matters.
April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month and an ideal time to educate Veterans about the 1.5 million Americans Parkinson's disease affects!
Parkinson's disease is one of the most common neurologic disorders. It is believed to be caused by a deficiency of a brain chemical called dopamine. The main signs are tremor, stiffness of the body, slowness of movement, and difficulty with balance. Although there is no cure for Parkinson's disease at the present time, some medication and surgical treatments can dramatically improve many of the symptoms.
The VA treats roughly 40,000 Veterans for Parkinson’s disease, an estimated half of those who are affected because many cases go undetected.
In 2001, the VA strengthened its commitment to detect and help Veterans with Parkinson's disease by creating six centers of excellence throughout the nation to provide disease research, education, and clinical support centers called the PADRECC network.
Each of the six PADRECCs are designed to deliver state-of-the art clinical care, innovative research, and outreach and education programs to their surrounding regions. There are also 51 satellite clinics called Consortium Centers that work collaboratively with their parent PADRECC to focus on caring Parkinson’s disease.
If you suffer from any symptoms that may indicate Parkinson’s, be sure to inform your doctor immediately. Remember, it is much better to give your doctor too much information than too little.
For More Information:
Visit the VA's Parkinson's Disease website to get information about Parkinson's!