How Parkinson’s disease works – and how it will change Neil Diamond’s life forever

Everything you need to know about the condition that caused this long-time performer to retire from his concert-touring career altogether.

By Ellie McDonald
Did you know that more than 80,000 Australians are currently living with Parkinson's disease?
And it's not just us Aussies who've been hit hard with this progressive, degenerative neurological condition? Celebrities including Michael J. Fox, Billy Connolly and, only recently, Neil Diamond have felt the full effect of how Parkinson's disease works.
Indeed, Neil Diamond, in particular, has just had to not only cancel his 2018 Austrailan tour, but retire from concert touring altogether after revealing that he's been battle with this condition that affects and controls the body's movements.

Parkinson's disease causes

According to Better Health Victoria, it comes to pin-pointing what can lead to a Parkinson's disease diagnosis, it's important to understand that there is no known cause of the condition.
However, experts are exploring possible causes, including genetics, head trauma and injuries, as well as certain pesticides, chemicals and toxins.

Parkinson's disease treatment

Varied medications, professional medical therapy and, in some cases, deep-brain stimulation surgery, can alleviate the effects of this condition.
It's worth noting that every case of Parkinson's disease can't be treated the same; depending on the disease's progression and different symptoms, it's impossible to prescribe one measured method of disease management to all.
Although, scientific research suggests that exercise can assist in helping sufferers to better control their gross motor movements (think: walking), improve their coordination, balance and fitness, as well as reduce their risk of falling over.
It's important to discuss treatment options and exercise plans with a GP and neurologist before getting started.

Parkinson's disease life expectancy

While Parkinson's disease isn't fatal, but as the condition progresses, the risk of falling over increases (particularly in Stage 4 and Stage 5 of the condition) because you may or may not be able to walk properly, or even by yourself. A simple fall for one person, could be a fatal blow for someone with Parkinson's disease.
If you, or someone you know, is showing early signs of Parkinson's disease, or you would like to learn more about this condition, contact Parkinson's Australia on 1800 644 189 or visit their website at www.parkinsons.org.au

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