brain imagesTwo of Europe’s leading Parkinson’s organisations – the European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) and Parkinson’s UK – have joined forces to launch a global campaign to raise international awareness of the disease, 200 years after it was first established as a health condition.

The #UniteForParkinsons campaign will mark this significant milestone on World Parkinson’s Day, 11 April 2017 – the birth date of Dr James Parkinson (1755–1824) who first identified the condition in his landmark paper An Essay on the Shaking Palsy. Already supported by many Parkinson’s organisations and campaigners around the world, the campaign aims to raise an unprecedented amount of awareness on this momentous day by using the hashtag #UniteForParkinsons on social media.

Steve Ford, chief executive at Parkinson’s UK, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for all people affected by Parkinson’s to stand together and make the world take notice of the issues they face every day. We know that by working collaboratively we can make the biggest case for change.

“We are delighted to be leading this initiative with the EPDA and will be doing our part on the day to help raise unparalleled awareness for the condition, the affect that it has on peoples’ lives and the urgent need for better treatments.”

Knut-Johan Onarheim, president of the EPDA, told Parkinson’s Life: “We want to create a global buzz on 11 April 2017 and really unite the international Parkinson’s community for the first time.

“We want all people with a connection to Parkinson’s to show their support on the same day by using our simple #UniteForParkinsons hashtag. Whatever your connection with Parkinson’s, wherever you are, let’s unite for Parkinson’s. If we successfully make an online hashtag go viral in 2017, who knows what we can achieve together in future years.”