On Tuesday 5 December I attended a parliamentary reception to mark 200 years since Parkinson’s was first recognised as a condition.
I met with representatives from Parkinson’s UK and people affected by the condition, and talked to staff and volunteers about the strides that have been made in understanding the condition since James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy in 1817, but also of the work that is still to be done as there is no cure for Parkinson’s and current medication can’t stop the condition from progressing.
Parkinson’s affects one in 500 people in the UK, and can cause a myriad of symptoms including insomnia, depression, and hallucinations, robbing people of their independence. But through more research, improved services, and empowering people with Parkinson’s to take control, their lives can be turned around.
It is unacceptable that around 25% of people with Parkinson’s are losing some or all of their financial support as they are moved from Disability Living Allowance to the replacement benefit Personal Independence Payment, leaving them unable to pay for aids and adaptations, energy bills and transport.
I will press the Government to ensure they don’t lose out as they are moved to Personal Independence Payment and act to provide greater support for the 127,000 living with Parkinson’s in the UK.