Parkinson’s is a serious neurogenerative disease that affects the way how you move parts of your body. The disease is due to problems with certain nerve cells in the brain. These nerve cells are usually producing the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is important for the transmission of the information of how muscles should react and therefore how parts of the body should move.
“It is still unknown what exactly is causing Parkinson’s disease and no cure has been found. The last decade as seen a significant increase in research into the therapeutic effect dance has on people with Parkinson’s disease. On the basis of evidence provided by healthcare practitioners, dance scholars, neurologists and psychotherapists, it is now widely recognized that creative and expressive movement has a beneficial effect on people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers.” And that is exactly what Step Up for Parkinson’s does. We provide free specialized movement classes for people with Parkinson’s disease as well as their caregiver, which is often their spouse or other family member” – says Natalie Muschamp Chairperson of Step up for Parkinson’s.
“In Malta some 1,400 people have Parkinson’s. These classes are wonderful. I have seen how they have helped our residents. They offer them support, interaction with others as well as freedom of movement. I am very proud to be hosting these regular classes at Hilltop Gardens and organizing an event to raise awareness about the disease” Charmaine Attard, Director of AX Care commented.
“Our secondary aim of the organization is to raise awareness about the disease”- she continues. “Parkinson’s disease is the second largest neurodegenerative disease in the world after Alzheimer’s. Often Parkinson’s is seen as an elderly disease, however, there are currently more and more people diagnosed before there 30’s. Parkinson’s is relatively unknown to many and therefore People diagnosed with the diseases also suffer from stigma about the disease itself. Since it is so unknown, not many would know how to behave around a person that has tremors or suffers from uncontrolled movement. People with Parkinson’s disease are the same person as they were before they were diagnosed, their identity has not changed, and they think the same and love the same as they did before, maybe even more so now! So to break the stigma, and to encourage everyone to accept who they are, and not to feel ashamed, and not to become isolated, our aim is to raise more awareness”- Natalie Muschamp concluded.