A Europe-wide initiative aimed at raising awareness of Parkinson's Disease with EU policymakers has been backed by Catherine Bearder MEP.
The Pledge for Parkinson's was launched in the European Parliament today (April 11) and is a four-point call to action aimed at improving the lives of sufferers.
Catherine has become part of the European Parkinson's Disease Association (EPDA) MEP support network, which will focus on making the condition an EU healthcare policy priority.
She said: "I will work to give people with Parkinson's in the South East a voice. The statistics from the pledge are disturbing enough, but there are plenty more where they came from.
"The annual cost of brain disorders in Europe in 2010 was 798 billion Euros. Current funding simply does not reflect the impact brain disease has on society.
"I urge my colleagues in the European Parliament, healthcare professionals and the public to join me in signing the Pledge for Parkinson's."
Here is the full wording of the pledge:
- There are more than 1.2 million people living with Parkinson's in Europe today and this number is forecast to double by 2030. The annual European cost of the disease is estimated at 13.9 billion Euros, and as our population continues to live longer, this cost will continue to rise dramatically - especially in the later stages of the disease where the impact is greatest on people with Parkinson's, their families and carers, and society as a whole.
- I support the EPDA in its efforts to work with European policymakers towards:
Maintaining and increasing funding for Parkinson's disease research under the EU Horizon 2020 framework programme.
Establishing best practice in the management of Parkinson's disease across Europe.
Expanding the influence of national patient organisations to help people with Parkinson's disease become more involved in their own treatment.
If you would like to sign the EPDA's Pledge for Parkinson's, visit www.epda.eu.com/pledge