Imagine being an all-star football player in college or a world-class actor that commands the Broadway stage. You have a great life and it’s everything that you’ve ever dreamed you could accomplish. While it’s not perfect because everyone has their ups and downs, you are able to enjoy going to work every day, live a comfortable lifestyle, and take advantage of many industry perks. However, what happens if that’s all gone in the blink of an eye? As you get older, you slowly start to lose control of your body. You can’t get a spoon to your mouth because your hands shake so badly. If you wore makeup in the past, you won’t be able to put it on the way you used to. It’s a struggle to get dressed, because every part of your body shakes, so it feels practically impossible to put your foot into your pant leg. Unfortunately, this is the reality for 200,000 people per year who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the brain slowly over time. It’s a progressive nervous system that affects your movement. This means that just normal activities that you may not ever have thought about before, such as applying eyeliner or bringing a utensil to your mouth, will be very difficult. The brain stops producing dopamine, which is a chemical that helps to control the body’s motor functions. This damage to the brain normally progresses slowly and starts as just small tremors in the hands. You may not even notice the tremor of your hands, especially because it is more common.