News and information about Parkinson's Disease on the First Coast
Florida's First Coast information source for Parkinson's Disease resources
Welcome to the First Coast Parkinson's Disease (PD) web page. This site contains information useful to the thousands of people, including patients, caregivers, family members and others living in Northeast Florida (Duval, Nassau, St. John’s, Baker, and Clay counties) dealing daily with the effects of PD.
Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic, degenerative progressive brain disorder that affects areas of the brain responsible for movement. Symptoms vary with individuals and could include: a tremor, slowness of movement, rigidity, and gait or posture disturbances. Other signs might be: depression, falling, speech and swallowing problems, mental confusion, sleep disturbances, constipation, difficulty writing, and more. There is no medical test for PD. A neurologist makes the diagnosis based on reported symptoms, eliminating other diseases and a clinical observation of the patient.
Scientists are working on a cure as well as ways to halt the disease’s progression. As more public figures such as Michael J. Fox, Linda Ronstadt, and Mohammed Ali focus media attention on PD, more incentive and money becomes available for research. Symptom treatment breakthroughs occur almost daily. The answer to PD will be found through clinical research often involving volunteer participants. Click on research to learn more about clinical research and how you may be able to participate in a study.
In addition, by completing a registry form in the research section, you would be helping to determine how many people in the First Coast have PD. This is a valuable tool for researchers and medical personnel, etc. Estimates from national organizations’ indicate U.S. the PD population to be from under 500,000 to 1,500,000. Using these numbers to calculate the First Coast’s PD population gives us a range of between less than 2,000 to 6,000 (closer to 4,000?). In order to obtain a reliable estimate of the number of people in the First Coast with PD, we can develop a patient registry (similar to the National Registry of Cancer Patients). If you live in the First Coast area and have been diagnosed with PD, please complete the registry form in the research section (coming soon).
Support groups help patients to cope with the day-to-day realities of the disease. A list of local support groups, contacts, meeting times and locations can be found by clicking on support groups.
The resources section lists PD oriented governmental agencies, private agencies, companies, and people available locally, as well as web addresses of the more active national organizations.
Find the latest issue of the local publication, First Coast Parkinson’s Disease Newsletter, as well as back issues, in the Newsletter section.
Finally, the calendar furnishes a single place to look for local activities. For instance, you will find listings of PD presentations listed for monthly support group meetings.