FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

Many people have questions they would like to ask about Parkinson's Disease, and about us "Parky's". Here are some of them, and our answers. Enjoy!

Q. What is Parkinson's Disease?

A. The short answer is: Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a movement disorder typically presenting with symptoms such as slowness of movement, muscle rigidity, instability and tremor. You can find a more detailed answer on our About Parkinson's Disease page.

Q. Who can be afflicted with Parkinson's Disease?

A. PD can occur in anyone, male or female, and generally happens from about the age of 50 years, with most diagnoses occuring about the age of 60. Generally more men than women are diagnosed, and some people can be diagnosed with early-onset PD well before the age of 50.

Q. Is PD contagious?

A. No. There is no reason to believe that Parkinson's Disease can be passed from one human to another in any way. (I know this is a great relief to all you attractive singles who are keen to become romantically involved with Parkys).

Q. Is PD the result of living a debauched life?

A. Sadly, no. Most Parkys are perfectly average and normal people who have never enjoyed more than their fair share of the finer things in life. (Some complain that they didn't even get their fair share). There is no evidence that PD is associated with any particular behaviour or activity.

Q. Is there a cure for Parkinson's Disease?

A. At this stage, there is no known cure for PD. There are a number of medications and therapies that are claimed to be able to slow and reduce the progress of the disease, but there effectiveness under clinical trials is reported as unproven. Significant research is continuing and medical scientists are optimistic that before long a cure may be discovered. We sure hope so!

Q. Is life all down hill for PD sufferers?

A. Not at all. Most Parkys, while frustrated at the presence of their condition, are keen to get on with their lives and enjoy every day with increased zest. With appropriate medication, and minor diet and lifestyle modifications, symptoms of PD can usually be managed for many years at a level where they don't interfere too much with normal life.

Obviously, unless significant developments occur in treatment, PD sufferers can anticipate gradual deterioration of their motor functions, but these changes are usually slow and permit plenty of time for adaptation.

Many members of our Support Group actually find that their PD diagnosis has finally given them the excuse to take that overseas trip or long holiday they've been putting off. Many of our members enjoy a lot of travelling, so it is definitely not correct to say that life is all down hill.

Q. Don't you feel embarrassed walking into a PD group meeting?

A. No more than I do walking into a pub, or a restaurant or a church. I know I'm walking into a room full of friendly, supportive people who come from all walks of life, and from all kinds of backgrounds, who share something invisible in common with me.

Our support group is non-judgmental, not associated with any religious, business or political group, and exists solely for the purpose of providing support for Parkys and their partners, family and carers. Through our association with Parkinson's NSW, we are able to access significant information and material resources to help our members.

Q. Can anyone join the Support Group?

A. Anyone who is in any way affected - directly or indirectly - by Parkinson's Disease is welcome to join our Support Group. Please contact our Secretary for membership details, or just come along to our next meeting and say hello.

Q. Can I just come along to a meeting to see what it's like?

A. Sure. If you bring a plate of nibblies with you, I can guarantee that you will be especially welcome. Nibblies or not, you are welcome to visit our meeting and "try before you buy". We don't bite and we look forward to meeting new prospective members.