Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a degenerative brain disease which results in slowness of movement, tremor (uncontrollable trembling of hands) and body stiffness. It is a disease that usually affects the elderly people. As there is still no cure for this mysterious illness, PD leads to progressive deterioration of physical, mental, social and occupational function.
Currently, it is estimated that there are 15 000 (or even more) Parkinson’s patients in Malaysia. With the increase in the proportion of elderly people in Malaysia, it is anticipated that the total number of Parkinson’s patients will increase to 20 000 in about five years from now. Thus, PD is a significant but unrecognized health burden in this country.
The truth is that, the Malaysian Parkinson’s community is neglected by every level of the society. Among the numerous problems faced by the local Parkinson’s community, one of the most serious is the lack of information. Most Parkinson’s patients do not have access to the latest treatment (especially medications and brain surgery) of this illness. Another major issue is the lack of moral support, especially for the newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients. Many of them do not know who to turn to for encouragement and motivation when they are first discovered to have this incurable illness.
Thus, the setting up of the Negeri Sembilan Parkinson’s Society (NSPS) is great news for the Parkinson’s care in Malaysia. I would like to congratulate Ms. Gharizah Hashim, the President of NSPS for her initiative in leading the local Parkinson’s community. I am certain that with this new development in the local Parkinson’s care, the Parkinson’s community will be able to attain a much better quality of life.
Dr. Chew Nee Kong
Medical Adviser, NSPS.
27th Sept 2008