ALTON, IL – Parkinson’s disease means a variety of issues for patients and caregivers alike. At Eunice Smith Home on the campus of Alton Memorial Hospital, a group meets monthly to discuss those issues and offer support.

Sheryl Paradine, MSN, facilitates a support group at 1 p.m. on the second Monday of each month. The group meets in the main dining room for approximately an hour. On Feb. 14, Nancy Nevlin from BJC Hospice will be the featured speaker.

“We try to get speakers from a variety of areas,” Paradine says. “We’ve had a physician, a physical therapist and a pharmacist, among others. There are so many things to talk about because each Parkinson’s patient shows different types of symptoms.”

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people, which means that most people will live with Parkinson’s for many years. While most people usually associate shaking movement with Parkinson’s, Paradine says that is not present in all patients.

Awareness of Parkinson’s disease was raised about a decade ago when actor Michael J. Fox, famous for his roles in the television sitcom “Family Ties” and the iconic “Back to the Future” movie trilogy, revealed his diagnosis. Others with Parkinson’s include Muhammad Ali, Billy Graham and former Attorney General Janet Reno.

“We invite everyone with a concern about Parkinson’s to visit our group each month,” Paradine said.

For more information, call Eunice Smith Home at 618-463-7330.

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