Billy Connolly reveals he can’t yodel anymore due to Parkinson's
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It affects 145,000 Britons who have been diagnosed with the condition, and Parkinson’s UK estimates one in 37 Britons will be diagnosed with the condition in their lifetime. Though there is as yet no known cure, diagnosing Parkinson’s early is important because some treatments are more effective at reducing symptoms when administered early on in the disease.
The Parkinson’s Foundation says to maintain overall good health most people living with Parkinson’s disease “should eat a variety of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy products, and protein-rich foods such as meat and beans”.
It adds that you may be able to ease symptoms, as “the right foods will also optimize your medications, keep your bones strong, fight constipation and weight loss and maintain general health and fitness”.
There are several snacks which can be eaten in small quantities. These include walnuts, cashews and other nuts “to promote brain health”.
“Also try to incorporate berries, which contain beneficial antioxidants,” it says.
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The charity says that “small changes can add up to big benefits,” so it is a good idea to make changes even if they are not drastic.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition, meaning that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time.
Symptoms often start to appear when the brain does make enough dopamine to control movement properly, and can occur in a number of different ways.
Parkinson’s is well-known for affecting a person’s movement, but less people may be aware about the group of ‘non-motor’ symptoms.
The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) says Parkinson’s symptoms can broadly be divided into two categories – motor and non-motor. Motor symptoms include a tremor and balance problems.
It says: “It turns out that non-motor symptoms often precede motor symptoms, sometimes by decades! Typically, there are certain non-motor symptoms that are the most likely to appear early.”
Non-motor symptoms, sometimes called the ‘invisible’ symptoms of Parkinson’s, could include fatigue, low blood pressure, and bladder and bowel problems.
They may also include sweating problems, changes to sense of smell, and difficulty sleeping.
Though there is no cure, research into the condition has found some symptoms could begin up to 20 years before a diagnosis.
Parkinson’s UK charity says around 145,000 people live with Parkinson’s in the UK, and “it’s the fastest growing neurological condition in the world”.
Parkinson’s UK charity notes that having certain signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s, doesn’t always mean that you or they have the condition.
It says: “It’s always best to talk to your GP first and they can refer you to a specialist if your symptoms need further investigation.”
The Mayo Clinic says: “Because the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown, proven ways to prevent the disease also remain a mystery.”
It notes that some research has shown that regular aerobic exercise might reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
For example, doing 2.5 hours of exercise a week can slow the progression of your symptoms, according to Parkinson’s UK. Parkinson’s disease is also often accompanied by additional problems, which may be treatable.
It’s thought around one in 500 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease, according to the NHS.
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