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New Numbers in on Parkinson's Disease: Genetics and Environmental Factors

Parkinson's Prevalence

Parkinson’s disease does not seem as important as curing cancer or studying stem cells uses. However, as prevalence grows, perhaps, the money to research will follow. A very large sampling is projecting double the cases of Parkinson's Disease by 2030. It will be interesting to see if projections are accurate considering very little is known about the cause, and much less how to treat successfully.


Th new numbers are in for the estimated increase of those that will have Parkinson’s Disease in 2030.

This is a worldwide problem. Parkinson's Disease is expected by 2030 to affect 1.2 million people in the United States, shows the study, published in the current issue of Nature.

The study seems sound with a large population of research subjects.

"Our knowledge of Parkinson’s has evolved significantly and so should our understanding of the population that has this disease,” said James Beck, PhD, Parkinson’s Foundation Chief Scientific Officer and contributing author on the study. “These findings will help attract the attention of federal and state government as well as the pharmaceutical industry to the growing need and urgency in addressing Parkinson’s disease.”

The big problem is there is no cure for Parkinson's Disease and although genetics plays a part, an environmental cause is suspected, but unknown. How can it be unknown was my thought. Especially with all the technology, genetic testing, splicing, and abilities with our worldwide smart people. Of course with everything, it comes down to money. Money for testing and research.

Parkinson’s Disease is only ranked 14th in occurrence currently. There is current research on “Lewy bodies” which are microscopic clumps found in the brain of Parkinson’s patients, that act like a fortress holding in a protein called alpha-synuclein, that the body cannot destroy, according to Mayo Clinic.

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More Funding Is Needed for Parkinson's Research To Find The Casues and Treatment

Unfortunately, Parkinson’s does not seem as important as curing cancer or studying stem cells uses. As prevalence grows, perhaps, the money to research will follow.

When I looked at the Parkinson’s Foundation webpage the United States is mapped out with color coding for prevalence.

Asian People Have Lower Risk of Parkinson's Disease

Those with Asian ancestry (even if born in the US) have less prevalence of getting the disease. Once again, the Asians have something that helps protect them. Could this be their diet, as is for lower heart disease incidence? The processed foods that are eaten and all the dyes in them? So many things we don’t know.

There is some research that shows caffeine may be protective against Parkinson’s, as well as regular exercise. So, eat well, drink your coffee, and dance into the golden years. Enjoy life because somethings may never be known or solved.

About The Author
Desiree Haugh is a Nurse Practitioner offering affordable primary care services at Vital Med in Booneville, Mississippi.