Parkinson Association of the South - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Parkinson Association of the South


Donations can be contributed through a secure link on the website. 


What is the mission of the Parkinson Association of the South?

                The mission of the Parkinson Association of the South is to inform whole communities about Parkinson's disease and build community partnerships, to provide resources and non-clinical support services, and to improve the quality of life and access of care of every person who is affected by Parkinson's disease by linking them to points of services.


What is Parkinson disease?

                Parkinson disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder affecting a person's speech, movement, and balance.  There is no cure and no known cause.  In essence, cells in the substantia nigria part of the brain die causing the symptoms of Parkinson.  What causes this premature cell death is unknown. The earliest symptoms of Parkinson disease are usually mild, but  gets worse over time.  As the disease progresses, everyday movements like walking or getting up from a chair become more difficult.


Since there is no cure for Parkinson, what are some of the treatments available?

                There is medication, new surgical advances, plus less evasive acts such as walking, exercising, massage, yoga, and speech therapy also may be helpful.


What is our service area?

                We serve anyone that needs assistance.  However our target is Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas.


How many people in Southwest Louisiana are affected by Parkinson disease?

                It is estimated that 8000 people in the Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas areas are affected by Parkinson's. Contrary to popular belief, Parkinson's is not an old person's disease, as 15% of those affected are under the age of forty and in their prime of their lives.  Nationally, there are 1.5 to 2 million people diagnosed with Parkinson disease.


What are some of the services provided?

                Education – In our Resource Library, there are hundreds of books, periodicals, videos, etc for Parkinson patients and the general community to learn about Parkinson disease and its effects.  We also provide in-services for physician practices, nursing homes, and/or businesses that would like to know more about Parkinson disease or more about caring for the Parkinson patient.

                Support – We offer three support groups.  Lake Charles, in partnership with CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital; Beaumont, Texas, in partnership with Horizon Home Health; and one in Orange, Texas.  These groups each meet monthly. The support groups are a gathering of people whose lives are affected by Parkinson's disease who come together to seek information, voice their concerns and mutually share their experiences. The meetings provide an opportunity to discuss experiences and feelings and to share information and solutions to common problems.  Activities include guest speakers, educational videos and open discussions. 

                Outreach – We attend all local health fairs. We outreach to rural areas that may not be able to attend monthly meetings and also communicate with home bound patients.


Where is our office located?

                Our office is located in downtown Lake Charles at 715 Ryan Street, suite 202.


Do we charge for our service?

                No, all of our services are free.


Do we have any other programs?

                We have a Patient / Caregiver Educational conference to address Parkinson related issues.  This year's conference will be in the Fall.  We are introducing this summer, Lunch in the Park-n-Sun, which is an informal meeting of patients, family members, physician and community members in the park over a light lunch discussing Parkinson disease and other relating concerns.

                We are also starting a Parkinson Registry so we can know the census of patients in Southwest Louisiana and to also identify interested patients for related studies and treatment plans.


How can someone contact us?

                Call 337-310-0083 or  Donations can be contributed through a secure link on the website.




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