GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Parkinson's is going prime-time with NBC's newest show starring Michael J. Fox and Dr. Hassan, a Mayo Clinic Parkinson's expert, joined KARE Saturday to help educate on the disease.
"The Michael J. Fox Show" premiers September 26th and is spreading awareness about Parkinson's disease, a condition that both the actor and his TV character have. Fox has been an outspoken advocate for Parkinson's research and awareness since 1998, after he disclosed his condition to the public.
The disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement and can cause shaking, muscle stiffness, slowing of movement, impaired balance, or other symptoms.
"What Michael J. Fox is doing to spread awareness on Parkinson's -- from fundraising to education to playing a TV character with the disease -- is very commendable," says Dr. Hassan. "Parkinson's disease touches the lives of many people. Education is vital."
Dr. Hassan also shared five things every person should know about Parkinson's disease:
- People with Parkinson disease are usually diagnosed in their 60s, and risk increases with age. Early onset, such as Michael J. Fox's, is uncommon.
- With the right medications, a healthy diet and exercise regimen, people with Parkinson disease may live 20 years or longer.
- Genes are to blame in a small number of people, but for most the cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown.
- The diagnosis is based on symptoms and signs. There is no blood test to diagnose it, although researchers are working to develop a test to detect the disease years before it presents.
- Parkinson's disease can shorten lifespan mainly due to swallowing problems with pneumonia, or injuries from falling. Measures can be taken to avoid or reduce this from happening.
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