BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Approximately one million people in the United States live with Parkinson’s Disease.
For those who live with Parkinson’s Disease, life can feel lonely and scary.
North Dakota, next to Minnesota, has one of the highest rates of Parkinson’s Disease per capita in the United States.
Experts say people who live in agricultural states are more prone to the disease because of chemical exposure.
The Bismarck Parkinson’s Support Group gathered Thursday in order to offer Parkinson’s patients some hope.
“So we have someone talking about what to do to prevent falls or what to do if you did fall. Right now, somebody’s going to be talking about sleeping and what ways you can probably sleep better, or not sleep better,” said Donna Fricke, Bismarck Parkinson’s Support Group Board Member.
“Different things will help you, and also the role of physical therapists, occupational therapy, speech therapy and helping people to live a normal life,” said Fricke.
Thursday marked The Bismarck Parkinson’s Support Group’s 7th year hosting the seminar.
Which consisted of various speakers and exhibitors, all there to help others learn more about Parkinson’s and provide tips to those living with the disease.
“I’ve learned a lot of exercise techniques, nutrition, and what have you. Things of that nature. I’ve met a lot of nice people and they can all relate to what it’s like having this, Parkinson’s,” said Donald Retterath, Bismarck Parkinson’s Support Group participant.
Donald Retterath, a participant that’s living with the disease, shares more about what he has learned today from the speakers at the seminar.
“Well, today we’re talking about falls, and some of those falls I can relate to how it happened and why it happened and how to prevent it. Balance has been an issue sometimes. I also know it interrupts your sleep. Medication does help, and it’s come a long way from what I’ve heard,” said Retterath.
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects a person’s motor functions.
This means a person with Parkinson’s disease often has uncontrollable and unintended movements of the body such as tremors and muscle spasms.
It’s a chronic and progressive disease that remains incurable to this day.
However, there are support groups like this that not only offer hope to people with the disease but for their support system as well.