According to a recent study supported by the Parkinson’s Foundation, approximately 90,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) each year in 2022—about 50% of the previously estimated incidence rate. is p.
Dr. Michael S. Okun, director of the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Disorders at UF Health in Gainesville, Florida, said, “The increasing number of people with Parkinson’s disease leads to more falls, more hip fractures and more people needing help.” , he said. .
He is also a medical advisor to the Miami-based Parkinson’s Foundation, but was not part of the study.
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The study estimated the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in North America by analyzing a large cohort of diverse populations.
The study aims to provide a more accurate estimate than previous studies that estimated the incidence at 40,000-60,000 annually.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation website, “previous estimates were based on small numbers of cases in areas that were not representative of the nation as a whole.”
“A previous prevalence study from 40 years ago extrapolated 26 people in a rural Mississippi county as a benchmark estimate of PD prevalence in the US”
“Men are more likely to develop PD than women, and the number of people diagnosed with PD increases with age.”
The site also says, “The rate of new cases is 1.5 times higher, with nearly 90,000 cases annually.”
More Parkinson’s disease statistics
About one million people in the US have Parkinson’s disease.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, more than 10 million people worldwide live with this disease.
PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the United States, with Alzheimer’s disease being the no. 1.
The main risk factor for PD is age – according to research, its incidence is increasing among Americans 65 and older.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation website, “Research confirms that men are more likely to develop PD than women and that the number of people diagnosed with PD increases with age, regardless of gender.”
Parkinson’s is a movement disorder
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation website, the brain normally contains neurons, or nerve cells, that produce a chemical called dopamine.
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According to the National Institute on Aging website, “The most visible signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease occur when nerve cells in the basal ganglia, the area of the brain that controls movement, are damaged and/or die.”
There are four main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: tremors, muscle stiffness, slow movements, and balance difficulties.
There are four main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including tremors, muscle stiffness, slow movements, and balance difficulties – often leading to falls.
According to the Healthline website, one of the earliest symptoms of PD is “palpatory tremors,” which “feel like you’re trying to roll a pill or other small object between your thumb and forefinger.” .
As Parkinson’s progresses, the classic sign is “black walking.”
That’s when the person starts shuffling and taking smaller steps, Healthline added.
In some areas of the US, the incidence of PD is reported to be “high”.
The study notes that the prevalence of people diagnosed with PD varies in certain parts of the country – but more research is needed to better understand this trend.
“When the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States were juxtaposed, a cluster of counties with high incidence of PD was observed,” the authors said.
“As the population grows and ages, Parkinson’s rates will continue to rise. However, these factors alone cannot explain the rapid increase in patients.”
The study also found “areas of high incidence” in southern California, southeast Texas, central Pennsylvania and Florida.
However, he found “areas of lower incidence” in “the Mountain West, the western Midwest, and the far Northwest.”
Why is PD now so common?
“As the population grows and ages, rates of Parkinson’s disease will continue to rise. However, these factors alone cannot explain the rapid increase in patients,” Okun said.
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This may explain the increased incidence in parts of the country with an aging population, such as Florida, where many older Americans retire.
The study also noted that exposure to environmental toxins may explain the increased incidence of PD in Rust Belt states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are known for heavy industrial materials.
“Scientists are investigating whether pesticides, environmental factors, diet and lifestyle are contributing to the increased incidence, as Parkinson’s recently became the No. 1 fastest-growing neurological disease,” added Okun.
The study also found a surprising protective factor: Heavy smokers are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
The study noted that it was limited by its retrospective design, so it was prone to selection bias, miscoding, and misclassification — and it was unclear whether smoking itself reduced risk. more research is needed to better understand whether or not.
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It also noted that the actual incidence of PD may be higher between 2012 and 2022 due to a decrease in protective factors such as smoking and an increase in risk factors.
Economic burdens of PD
According to a 2019 study released by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson’s disease costs patients, families and the U.S. government an estimated $51.9 billion annually.
A little less than half of this economic burden is directly related to medical costs, and more than half is related to non-medical costs such as missed work, lost wages, and early and caregiver time. it’s worth it.
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“Economically, these conditions have devastating consequences for the health care system because Medicare and other payers cannot contain the billions of dollars in costs,” Okun said.
“What we spend on Parkinson’s research is 10 times less than what is needed to accelerate the trajectory of more effective disease-modifying therapies,” he added.
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