Older Adults Affected By Parkinson’s Is Higher Than Previously Thought - SpecialtyRx
January 27, 2023
Older Adults Affected By Parkinson’s Is Higher Than Previously Thought

A New Study Shows The Number Of Adults Affected By Parkinson’s is Higher Than Once Believed

In North America, Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common age-related neurodegenerative condition. It was previously believed 40,000-60,000 people were affected. But, a study now shows that number is about 50% higher than previously estimated.

Parkinson’s Disease typically first develops after age 60. However, the study found that about 5-10% of people may experience an onset of symptoms before the age of 50. Also, men are typically more affected than women. However, this disease can affect people of all ages and genders.

Funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), the study was led by Allison Willis, M.D. and associate professor of neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Willis reported, “Our primary finding was that the overall prevalence of Parkinson’s disease among persons ages 45 and older was 572/100,000.” She continued, “We also found that PD burden in the population at ages 65 and above was higher than typically reported.”

The study’s conclusion reports that PD incidence increases with age, most commonly in adults over 65. Southern California, Southeastern Texas, Central Pennsylvania, Florida, and the “Rust Belt” regions of the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. have a higher rate of PD cases. It was concluded that more than 90,000 older adults are affected by PD.

It is important for LTC workers to let the patient know they aren’t alone and that they have a support system. Furthermore, planning weekly activities can help patients feel “normal,” and it gives them something to look forward to, which is beneficial for their mental health.

“This study reiterates the urgency of investing in more research for better treatments, cure, and hopefully a prevention.” – Hema Shaddarshanam PIC