• Thu. May 19th, 2022

Stepping up Parkinson’s with the Port Stephens Parkinson’s Support Group – News Of The Area

ByJulie J. Helfer

May 9, 2022

Rebekah Wilson, HMRI, Support Group Leader Bob Crampton and Laurelle Gordon-Smith.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE is a movement and mood disorder that is usually manifested by symptoms such as slowness of movement, muscle rigidity, unsteadiness, tremors, depression and anxiety.

The number of people living with Parkinson’s disease in Australia is thought to range from 84,000 to 212,000 (0.85% of the population).

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A diagnosis can occur at any age, with the most common age of diagnosis being 65.

Ten percent of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are under the age of 45.

Eighteen percent of people living with Parkinson’s disease are of working age, that is, under the age of 65 (this includes those diagnosed under the age of 45).

Port Stephens has a Parkinson’s Support Group who during May will take part in Step Up for Parkinson’s, a virtual fitness challenge designed to raise funds for Parkinson’s NSW.

“Your generous support will help us reach our fundraising goal of $3,000 and enable Parkinson’s NSW to continue its mission to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s, their carers and families” , said Bob Crampton, of the Port Stephens Parkinson’s Support Group. Leader.

The guest speaker from the Port Stephens Parkinson’s Support Group at their April monthly meeting was Rebekah Wilson, Senior Director of Philanthropy at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).

Mr Crampton told News Of The Area: ‘Rebekah gave an excellent presentation outlining some of the history of HMRI and some of the research programmes.

“What began in 1988 as a bold vision to improve community wellbeing in the Hunter Region of NSW, HMRI has today grown into a world-class institute with 1500 medical researchers, students and support staff s ‘striving to prevent, treat and defeat a multitude of serious diseases.’

One of HMRI’s current research programs is exploring the link between Parkinson’s disease and the gut biome.

Researchers have found that there is a link between (neurological) brain health and gut health and insects that thrive in the gastrointestinal tract.

Evidence suggests that the brain can directly influence microbes in our gut, while gut microbes interact with signaling to the brain.

HMRI is currently recruiting people to participate in this research.

Members of our support group were very impressed with Rebekah’s presentation and many are interested in participating in research, both people living with Parkinson’s and those without.

HMRI needs both to be involved.

If you would like more information, please contact Bob Crampton via email at [email protected]

The next support group meeting will be on Thursday, May 19, and the guest speaker will be Evelyn Collins, a nurse neurologist from John Hunter Hospital, who will be joined by Olivia Chisholm, a PD nurse.

Cassie Morgan, co-ordinator of the Parkinson’s NSW support group, will also be attending the group’s meeting in May.

The support group meets at the Tomaree library and community center and the meeting starts at 1:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome.

For more information about Parkinson’s disease call Parkinson’s NSW on 1800 644 189 or visit www.parkinsonsnsw.org.au.

By Marianne Samson