Fighting to find a cure for Parkinson's Disease

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 08:33:37-04

Mike Brown was emotional when he talked about that day when he’ll get to walk his youngest daughter down the aisle. That’s because Brown was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease almost six years ago. Now it’s starting to affect his mobility.

"My back gets real stiff and other symptoms of it. Sometimes another one might be you might drag your feet a little,” Brown said.

More than 9,000 Western New Yorkers like Brown are dealing with this incurable disease, which attacks the nervous system.

“It’s kind of a scary thing. I mean when you hear Parkinson’s you think it’s never going to affect you. I mean I’ve always been very active playing sports,” Brown said.

Most Parkinson’s patients have caregivers to assist them. They take medicine to slow the progression of symptoms. Brown finds exercising, playing bridge and taking boxing and dance classes very helpful as well.

Most people who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s are 60 and over. According to the National Parkinson Foundation of Western New York, there is a growing number of young people with it as well.

“There is somebody in Western New York who was diagnosed at the age of 13. The youngest on record is the age of 3,” a representative of the organization said.

Actor, Michael J Fox has been fighting Parkinson’s since he was 30. Champion Boxer, Muhammad Ali recently lost his battle with the disease. Just this week, doctors made a discovery that could lead to a cure.

“It’s a break down in protein. Basically proteins affect the neurons in the brain, which then dimensions the production of dopamine. They believe they have identified what that equation is,” Chris Jamele with the National Parkinson Foundation of Western New York said.