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New Report Warns of Parkinson's Pandemic

Article - Aug 2023 ParkinsonsThe results of an in-depth study carried out by the Cure Parkinson's charity have recently been published, showing an 'alarming lack of knowledge' about the condition. In this edition of the Medigarments Ltd blog, we look at some of the key findings from the report, which is entitled 'Change The Future: Preventing a Parkinson’s Pandemic'. 

The Cure Parkinson's charity was established in 2005 by four people living with Parkinson's (Sir David Jones, Air Vice Marshal Michael Dicken, Sir Richard Nichols and Tom Isaacs), all of whom were 'frustrated by the lack of progress in research or curative treatments'. Since it was founded, the charity has continued to make progress in its search for a cure, providing millions of pounds of funding and collaborating with some of the world's top researchers.

Key findings from the charity's new report include:

  • One third of UK adults know a person who has Parkinson's 
  • For each individual diagnosed with Parkinson's, over 100 people are in some way touched by it
  • The World Health Organisation recently revealed that Parkinson's-related death and disability are increasing at a faster rate than any other neurological disorder. Just 17% of people surveyed by Cure Parkinson's were aware of this fact, with just over half wrongly believing that the fastest-growing neurological condition is Alzheimer's
  • Parkinson's is characterised by more than 40 symptoms but only two of these are widely recognised by the UK public: shaking (69%) and issues with balancing (52%)
  • 45% of survey respondents believed that the UK government should be 'doing more to fund the search for a cure'
  • It is estimated that there are around 145,000 people with Parkinson's in the UK alone. The healthcare costs stand at more than £728 million a year, with the total economic impact reaching £3.6 billion. Current projections suggest that the number of people with Parkinson's will more than double by 2040, increasing this figure to more than £7.2 billion
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Cure Parkinson's has identified four key actions that need to be taken in order to prevent a Parkinson's pandemic.

  • The UK government must allocate a sum of £90 million to fund research into finding a cure for Parkinson's. The money should be spent in several areas, including increased screening, funding for multi-arm research projects and employing more clinical research nurses
  • Enrol more people to participate in clinical trials. Such trials are often delayed due to the difficulties encountered in enrolling suitable participants. A study published in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease revealed that a massive 45% of clinical studies are delayed for this reason
  • Filling the recruitment gap. A lack of resources and incentives to 'make clinical academia an attractive career path' has meant that 'clinical research is on a precipice', according to a report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee
  • Accelerating the clinical trial process. The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recently announced plans to make it easier and quicker to obtain approval to run clinical trials. Cure Parkinson's stated that it welcomed the announcement but urged that the proposed changes are implemented without delay


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As there is currently no cure for Parkinson's, treatment focuses on the management of symptoms and includes exercise, medication, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Wearing bespoke dynamic compression garments from our SDO® (Sensory Dynamic Orthosis) collection can also help, providing reductions in the severity of tremors and improving coordination. 

The stretch quality and resistance of our high quality Lycra® material assists in:

  • Providing sensory and proprioceptive feedback
  • Providing musculoskeletal alignment & stabilisation
  • Improving postural control and proximal stability
  • Improving quality of movement
  • Enhancing function

SDO® Original garments can result in motor learning, improved motor output, improved reciprocal muscle activity, normalisation of tone and can be used to maintain soft tissue length and alignment. The SDO® provides the stimulus, but the wearer has to provide the effort whilst wearing the orthosis, thus resulting in carryover.

Please browse our website for full details about our dynamic Lycra® compression garments. If you would like to receive more special features like this, along with lots of other news and updates, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. If you need any further information or expert advice, please contact our team.