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POTSDAM —Anyone suffering from Parkinson’s disease, who cares for someone with the disease or who wants to learn more is invited to attend a free seminar on Thursday.

The Seaway Parkinson’s Coalition is presenting a Parkinson’s Seminar Day for the community from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cheel Center, Clarkson University. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Barbens Room.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

The Thursday event is designed to connect experts in Parkinson’s disease with the community, provide free education to an under-served population in the area, provide an opportunity for individuals and caregivers affected by Parkinson’s disease to network, and raise awareness of the impact of Parkinson’s disease on the community.

The speakers include Dr. Matthew Peters, a Johns Hopkins University neurologist; Sarah Collins, a speech and language pathologist; Rebecca Martin, a board-certified clinical specialist in Neurologic Physical therapy; Bing Thomas, owner of Healthy Way; and Samantha Jones from Hospice and Palliative Care.

Ms. Martin said there are few resources in the north country for people with Parkinson’s disease.

“In some towns in our area, as many as 13 percent of individuals with Medicare have Parkinson’s disease, according to large scale studies. Despite this, there are remarkably few resources for individuals in the north country who have Parkinson’s disease. Most health care providers in our area are trained only generally in Parkinson’s disease,” she said.

Ms. Martin said the closest specialized neurologist is in Burlington, Vt..

“The Parkinson’s Foundation recommends that all individuals with Parkinson’s disease are seen by a neurologist who specializes in functional movement disorders,” Ms. Martin said. “Our hope is to bring these type of individuals to the north country, creating a sustainable and accessible healthcare support system for those with Parkinson’s disease.”

Thursday’s event is sponsored by Clarkson University, Massena Savings and Loan, SeaComm, Walmart and the Seaway Parkinson’s Coalition.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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