Jeremy Paxman and High-Profile Figures Campaign for Parkinson's Research Funding

Parkinson's patients campaign for better treatment and increased research funding, as the condition remains incurable and severely underfunded despite its rapid growth. Experts call for government action to address this debilitating disorder.

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Mazhar Abbas
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Jeremy Paxman and High-Profile Figures Campaign for Parkinson's Research Funding

Jeremy Paxman and High-Profile Figures Campaign for Parkinson's Research Funding

In April 2024, Jeremy Paxman and other high-profile individuals with Parkinson's disease gathered at Downing Street to campaign for better treatment and increased research funding for the fastest-growing neurological condition. Despite affecting over 150,000 people in the UK, Parkinson's remains incurable and severely underfunded.

The campaigners aimed to raise awareness about the pressing need for more research and improved care for those living with Parkinson's, a debilitating and progressive disorder that currently lacks sufficient funding and treatment options. Among the high-profile individuals joining Paxman were Rory Cellan Jones and Sir Nicholas Mostyn.

Parkinson's disease is often overlooked and misunderstood, with a wide range of symptoms beyond just tremors, including insomnia, exhaustion, mood issues, and pain. Diagnosis can also be delayed, as in the case of Nurse Claire Addison, who went two years before being referred to a neurologist.

Why this matters: Parkinson's is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world, with the number of affected individuals in the UK expected to double by 2040. The government's investment in Parkinson's research pales in comparison to other conditions, with just £6.7 million allocated in 2021-22, compared to £122 million for cancer research.

Parkinson's Treatment Developments: Trials in France have shown potential for the drug Lixisenatide as a treatment, but almost half of participants experienced side effects. Researchers are also developing portable testing kits to detect brain deterioration, and using electricity to stimulate parts of the brain could help prevent symptoms of mental disorders.

Parkinson's Funding Push: The campaign at Downing Street aims to secure more resources to address this growing and debilitating condition. "Parkinson's is so much more than just a tremor. It affects every aspect of your life, and it's time for the government to take action and provide the funding needed to find a cure," said one campaigner. With increased awareness and support, there is hope for better treatments and ultimately, a cure for Parkinson's disease.

Key Takeaways

  • Parkinson's is the fastest-growing neurological condition, affecting 150,000 in UK.
  • Campaigners at Downing Street seek more research funding, currently only £6.7M vs £122M for cancer.
  • Parkinson's has wide-ranging symptoms beyond tremors, often delayed in diagnosis.
  • Potential treatments like Lixisenatide show promise but have side effects, more research needed.
  • Campaigners aim to secure more resources to find a cure for this debilitating condition.