How much do you know about Parkinson's disease? Test yourself on these myths and truths

Apr 7, 2023

April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month – a time to raise awareness of the world’s fastest growing neurological disease. While the condition affects 10 million people globally, there is no known cure. Advancements in treatment can improve the quality of life with those with Parkinson's disease (PD), but they are often misunderstood. It’s time to get better informed – and challenge common misconceptions.


Myth #1: Parkinson’s disease only affects people who are 60+.  

Parkinson’s can affect people of all ages. Although it is more commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 60, about 10% of people have early-onset or young-onset disease, which begins before age 50. As the incidence of PD rises significantly with age, and people are living longer, the prevalence of PD is set to rise dramatically in the future.


Myth #2:  A tremor is the only symptom of Parkinson’s.

Not all symptoms of PD are visible. While a tremor is typically associated with the disorder, there are many non-movement symptoms of PD. Some of these may include impaired sense of smell, sleep disorders, cognitive symptoms, constipation, anxiety, depression and others.


Myth #3:  People who have Parkinson’s cannot participate in exercise.

Exercise plays an important role in managing Parkinson’s disease symptoms as it can help improve balance, flexibility and mobility. Physical and cardiovascular activity can also help reduce non-motor PD symptoms such as anxiety, depression and constipation.


Myth #4:  Medication is the only effective treatment for Parkinson’s.

There are a variety of established treatments to address symptoms of Parkinson’s. While medications are often prescribed to help manage symptoms, physicians will also consider treatments, such as deep brain stimulation (DBS), an FDA-approved treatment option that can help manage the symptoms of the condition.


Parkinson’s disease can have a significant impact in the lives of those living with the condition and to their families and caregivers. Find helpful resources and learn more about potential treatments at