Parkinson’s Disease Affects Men More Than Women

Canadian Club of Halton Peel Dinner Series

Parkinson’s Disease Affects Men More Than Women
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Janet Bedford

Janet Bedford is a broker with Royal LePage in downtown Oakville, with 20 years of real estate experience. Along with helping her clients find the perfect home or sell their home, she is often found photographing the many events that take place in Oakville. She has written extensively for various publications. Janet is a graduate of MacMaster University.

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“Parkinson’s Disease: Diagnosis, Research and Treatment” – a disease that often affects a family member or friend and impacts on the lives that surround our afflicted loved one and the lives of the families involved. Dr. Rick Paulseth, MD, FRCP(C), speaker for this month’s Canadian Club of Halton Peel dinner, says that “this slow, relentless and progressive disorder affects only about 3 people per thousand and was first described by British physician Dr. James Parkinson in 1817. These symptoms include tremors at rest, slowness in movement, rigidity, gait disturbance, postural instability and falls.”

According to Dr. Paulseth, “Parkinson’s affects men more than women and is rarely a problem before 40 years of age. It is typically diagnosed between the ages of 60 and 70, although young onset, under 40, occurs in 5-10% of all those affected. We are seeing an increase in Parkinson’s”, says Dr. Paulseth, “because of our aging population.”

With the tremors comes a lessening in muscular power in parts of the body that are not in action even when supported. Patients also tend to bend forward and to pass from a walking to a slight running pace. Luckily for those afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease, the senses and the intellect remain uninjured. Dopamine is a chemical that carries signals between the nerves in the brain. When cells that normally produce dopamine die, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear. Although not recommended, Dr. Paulseth did say that coffee and cigarettes appear to be “protective factors” that lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The Doctor was also quick to note that exercise may also have these same “protective factors”.

Dr. Paulseth is an Associate Clinical Professor, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, at McMaster University and MS Clinic Director, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, where he also received his Neurology Fellowship. With a special interest in movement disorders, Dr. Paulseth is very involved with those who are afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease and the audience appreciated the extent of his knowledge about the steps taken in its diagnosis and treatment options as well as ongoing research efforts.

The next Canadian Club of Halton Peel speaker will be held April 23, 2015. Author Plum Johnson will share experiences from her humorous and touching memoir, “They Left Us Everything”. Her book describes dismantling the 23 room family home in Oakville after the death of her parents and is the recently announced Winner of the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize for excellence in non-fiction.

Reservations for the Canadian Club dinner at the Oakville Conference Centre, 2515 Wyecroft Road, Oakville, L6L 6P8 (QEW & Bronte Rd) can be made by e-mail (barrywylie1@gmail.com), by telephone (905-827-6302) or by mail (cheques payable to the Canadian Club of Halton Peel, 283 River Side Drive, Oakville, L6K 3N3).

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