April 9, 2014: For Parkinsons Awareness Week, the supporting charity, Parkinson UK hosted an event in London at 10 Downing Street bringing awareness of the disease and generating donations to support the organization. Harry Styles, with his mum, Anne Twist, sister Gemma, and his Grandfather Brian Selley attended the awareness event to give their support to the charity.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder. There is no cure for Parkinson’s and while the disease itself is not fatal, it’s a slowly-developing, debilitating disease affecting a person’s brain which slowly stops producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. With less and less dopamine, a person has less and less ability to regulate their movements, body and emotions; becoming increasingly dependent on others for care in their basic needs. Complications from the disease are quite serious as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rated complications from PD as the 14th top cause of death.
Parkinson’s Awareness week 2014 utilized social media by creating the hashtag #incontrol to help bring a heighten awareness of this disease to a much larger audience. Harry Styles’s attendance at the event helped increase this audience with his more than 20 million followers on Twitter alone. It was a tremendous help to have Harry and his family involved!
Statistically, one person in every 500 gets Parkinson’s, which is about 127,000 people in the UK alone. The symptoms and speed at which the disease progresses is very individualistic and that’s why awareness is crucial to make earlier treatment interventions possible.