Health
4:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Walk For Parkinson’s Disease Research

Pittsburghers are being asked to get up and move for Parkinson’s disease on September 29.

The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) is sponsoring Pittsburgh’s second annual Moving Day, a walk that helps to raise awareness of the disease.

In addition to the 1.5 mile walk, there will be a movement pavilion, where people can participate in activities such as yoga or zoomba, or simply go dancing.

Barbara Farrell, Executive Director of the NPF branch of Pittsburgh, said exercise is a critical component in managing the disease.

“You keep moving, it keeps the dopamine going, and so, you know, for people living with Parkinson’s, the movement pavilion is huge,” Farrell said.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that impacts a patient’s movements and motor skills. Studies show movement is beneficial for managing symptoms and improving flexibility and mobility.

Farrell says the event has grown tremendously.

“Last year we had about 400 walkers, and this year we’re close to, between 700 and 800 walkers.” Farrell said.

More than 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s, with 50,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

“There are more people living with Parkinson’s disease than there are Alzheimer’s and MS [multiple sclerosis] combined,” Farrell said.

The event begins at 10 a.m. on Pittsburgh's North Shore riverwalk between PNC Park and Heinz Field.