'Speak up for Parkinson's' is giving a voice to 10 million people
PORTO, Portugal, April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Many people with Parkinson's Disease have difficulty making themselves heard and understood. The new BIAL film aims to give people with Parkinson's a voice. 'Speak up for Parkinson's' is the latest part of a worldwide campaign, launched by BIAL three years ago, which aims to increase knowledge of the stark reality of people living with Parkinson's Disease.
Changes to speech are one of the consequences of the progression of Parkinson's Disease and these changes may be exacerbated when people are interacting socially. This topic is highlighted in the new awareness campaign to be launched on the World Parkinson's Day, April 11.
The film features a person currently living with Parkinson's disease and experiencing speech difficulties, and is based on the idea that when several voices speak in unison, the message is more powerful and can be far-reaching. BIAL believes that blending several voices with voices of people with Parkinson's Disease will help to bring awareness to the needs, challenges, frustrations and difficulties experienced daily by people living with Parkinson's.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain responsible for motor control. As the disease progresses, ordinary everyday tasks like talking on the phone, ordering meals at a restaurant, or simply expressing an idea can become real challenges. Difficulties in performing these simple actions can cause anxiety and may lead to isolation. In more severe cases, patients may experience feelings of helplessness that can lead to depression.
This new film brings together the voices of those who live and interact on a daily basis with people with Parkinson's because, although there is some understanding of the disease, there is still a wide gap in knowledge of the range of difficulties faced everyday. BIAL hopes that a better understanding of the consequences of this disease may improve tolerance and make a contribution to improving the quality of life of more than 10 million people living with Parkinson's worldwide.
For Rui Sobral, Director of BIAL's Global Parkinson's Department, "These patients do not yet have a strong enough voice. Most people still do not know enough about this health condition. Our intention is that this campaign breaks the taboo. Hence, we need all the possible voices to help patients and caregivers. Due to their proximity with Parkinson's patients, caregivers, whether family members, friends or health professionals, are in a privileged position to clarify the limitations imposed by this disease. This is the third year in a row where we have been trying to make everyone aware of Parkinson's Disease. We have created an emotional campaign because life is made up of emotions though a honest one, because it is realistic and we hope it will touch many hearts and help us to better understand what it is to live with this debilitating disease."
Since 2017, BIAL has developed global campaigns associated with the World Parkinson's Day. The purpose of these campaigns is to incease awareness of the disease and how it affects people directly and indirectly. The films also aim to depict how some of the limitations associated with the disease can be overcome with the understanding and support of all. The films from the previous campaigns ("Me at my best" – 2017; "There's no right rhythm for life" – 2018), available on digital platforms, have had more than 1,1 million views.
BIAL is committed to this cause, Parkinson's Disease. Thus, it launched in 2018, the "Parkinson's in Mind" platform, which includes a website and social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube, and provides contents addressed to people with Parkinson's, caregivers and health professionals (restricted mode).
Founded in 1924, BIAL's mission is to research, develop and provide therapeutic solutions within the area of health. In the last decades, BIAL has focused strategically on quality, innovation and internationalisation. BIAL is strongly committed to therapeutic innovation, investing more than 20% of its annual turnover into research and development within neurosciences and the cardiovascular system. The company expects to introduce new drugs on the market in the coming years, strengthening its international presence based on proprietary drugs and achieving its goal of supplying innovative products to patients worldwide. For more information on BIAL: www.bial.com
About Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by a strong reduction of the neurotransmitter dopamine, caused by the degeneration of certain neurons in the brain. Epidemiological evidence highlights a complex interaction between genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. The clinical manifestations usually appear after the age of 50 years (the average age of diagnosis is approximately 60 years). The prevalence of the disease is estimated at 300 per 100,000 inhabitants, increasing to 1 in 100 in the age group between 55 and 60 years. The European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA) estimates that approx. 1.2 million people suffer from this disease in the European Union. The diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is based on clinical observation and can be made on patients who present two out of three major or cardinal symptoms: resting tremor, muscle stiffness and bradykinesia (slow movements). Other common symptoms are postural instability, reduced facial expression and blinking, and a slouching posture. The disease progressively incapacitates patients, causing hindrance in their lives and daily activities.