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Scotland lights up blue for World Parkinson’s Day

world parkinson's day

The Kelpies in Falkirk

Today Scotland marks World Parkinson’s Day by lighting up more than 70 landmarks in blue to help raise awareness of the condition that affects 12,400 Scots, making it the second most prevalent neuroprogressive condition after Alzheimer’s. 

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement and is caused by certain nerve cells in the brain to break down or die. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slow movement, and stiff and inflexible muscles. 

Maclellan Castle is one of the many Scottish landmarks to be lighting up.

The leading charity: Parkinson’s UK Scotland that supports people with the condition have released new survey findings today to highlight the impact of low public understanding towards people who are living with the affliction. 

  • 83% of people said they’d had negative experiences including being laughed at, accusations of being drunk or unfriendly due to movement problems caused by Parkinson’s.
  • 58% said they have cancelled or avoided social situations because they are embarrassed about their Parkinson’s symptoms, or are concerned about how people will react to them.
  • Almost half (45%) have said that people don’t believe they have Parkinson’s.
  • A third (33%) said their less expressive facial expressions – which is an effect of the condition – had been misinterpreted as being unfriendly.

In order to bring more awareness to the condition, the charity is using World Parkinson’s Day to launch Parkinson’s Is, which is a campaign designed to help show the public what the reality is like for people living with the illness. 

David Wilson from Glasgow have been living with the condition for the six years, said:” Most people are understanding and supportive when my symptoms become obvious. 

David has been living with the illness for six years.

Unfortunately, there are some people who react negatively and this can be annoying as well as making things more difficult for me. I use a stick, not just to help me balance, but as a signal to others that I have a disability. It can be difficult and frustrating when people expect me to give way on stairs and escalators when I need to be able to use the handrail. “ 

Among the locations in Scotland lighting up blue for World Parkinson’s day are the Kelpies in Falkirk which will hold a ‘Walk for Parkinson’s, Maclellan Castle in Kirkcudbright with art by Sir Billy Connolly. 

Annie Macleod, Director of Parkinson’s UK Scotlandsaid: “We need everyone to recognise Parkinson’s as the serious health condition it is, and the major impact it has on everyday life so that people with Parkinson’s do not continue to experience such an appalling misunderstanding of their symptoms.  

Everyone in Scotland has a role to play in developing understanding and positive public attitudes towards people affected by Parkinson’s and I urge everyone to visit our website to engage with our campaign Parkinson’s Is.” 

READ more: Renfrewshire MSYPs elected with highest average votes per constituency

About Jade Donnelly

An aspiring Journalist who has fought to have her place at Glasgow Clyde College studying for her HND Journalism. Jade has had the honour of various features published in the Daily Record, Paisley Daily Express and Glasgow Live and is determined to make a name of for herself in the industry one day.

View all posts by Jade Donnelly →

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