UVa Department of Neurology - APDA - Info & Referral Center of Virginia
American Parkinson Disease Association
Information and Referral Center of Virginia
APDA Information and Referral Center of Virginia
Parkinson's disease is a common, chronic neurological disorder that affects over one million people in the United States. Parkinson's disease is associated with a decrease in dopamine, a brain chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter by helping transmit or send messages from one cell to another. For some unknown reason, brain cells responsible for producing dopamine begin to die.
The primary symptoms of Parkinson's disease include the following:
- Tremor (shaking)
- Rigidity (stiffness)
- Bradykinesia (slow movement)
People with Parkinson's disease may also experience a number of secondary symptoms such as stooped posture, gait disturbance, depression, and difficulties with speech and swallowing .
The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA), established in 1961, is a not-for-profit, voluntary health agency committed to serving the Parkinson community through a comprehensive program of research, education and support to ease the burden and find a cure for Parkinson's disease. The goals of the APDA are to forter and promote research for more effective treatments and ultimately a cure; to educate the public about the disease; and to provide support programs and services to patients, their families and caregivers.
To help accomplish its goals, the APDA has developed a network of Information and Referral Centers throughout the country. The APDA Information and Referral Center of Virginia was established in order to respond to the particular needs of an estimated 13,000 Virginians who are affected by Parkinson's disease. The staff of the Center strive to promote a better quality of life for those with Parkinson's disease, their families and caregivers by providing education, referrals, support and public awareness programs.
The Center provides the following:
- Referrals to medical and rehabilitation specialists
- Information and education materials for patients, their families and caregivers
- Educational conferences
- Quarterly newsletters
The staff is also available for educational presentations to any group in Virginia and will assist in the development of support groups.
To request any of these free services, please call or write the Center.