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Recognizing the Early Signs of Parkinson's Disease

AARP New Mexico is joining with the Parkinson’s Foundation for a special virtual presentation, Thursday, Dec. 10, on recognizing the early signs of Parkinson’s disease. The free event is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. MT.

“We felt it was important to bring some light to this disease because its progression can develop overtime and the symptoms can vary --- meaning they may be the result of Parkinson’s disease or possibly caused by other issues, so it is important to gather more information,” said Joseph P. Sanchez, AARP New Mexico State Director.

“We wanted to provide some expert advice on what to do if you suspect Parkinson’s and if you receive a diagnosis what those first steps would be. We are glad to be partnering with the Parkinson’s Foundation, which can provide a number of resources for people facing this disease,” Sanchez said.

Sarah Osborne, Parkinson’s Foundation Senior Community Program Manager, said, “Providing community education is a vital part of the Parkinson’s Foundation mission to empower people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their loved ones to live their best lives possible with PD. Getting an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible is important to living better with PD. We are pleased to partner with AARP New Mexico to help people recognize early Parkinson’s symptoms.”

The presentation will feature expert advice from Dr. Amanda Deligtisch, MD, director of Movement Disorder at the University of New Mexico, and Cindy Brown, LCSW, Training and Resource Manager, Home Instead Senior Care.

Dr. Deligtisch has 22 years of experience and specializes in neurology. She did a fellowship on Movement disorders at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Deligtisch also did a residency in neurology at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia Campus, and attended Medical School at Columbia University in New York.

Brown has nearly 29 years of experience in the area of senior care. She has worked in long-term care social work in a variety of settings, including working with seniors in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care services and home care. In addition, she has a great deal of experience in the area of Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

The Parkinson’s Foundation website states that Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.

The cause remains largely unknown. Although there is no cure, treatment options vary and include medications and surgery. While Parkinson’s itself is not fatal, disease complications can be serious.

Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. People with Parkinson’s  may experience tremors, small handwriting, loss of smell, trouble moving or walking, dizziness or fainting, and trouble sleeping, just to name a few.

To learn more join us for this free presentation by registering today at www.Parkinson.org/AARPNM or call 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636).

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