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Parkinson's patients discriminated against by society

Parkinson's patients discriminated against by society
16th April 2013

People living with Parkinson's are often discriminated against because people fail to understand their condition, a survey has found.

Commissioned by the charity Parkinson's UK, the study questioned 2,000 people and found that almost half have been the victim of discrimination, with a large number having their symptoms mistaken for drunkenness.

At last summer's London Olympics Parkinson's sufferer Mark Worsfold was arrested during a cycle race because police considered him to be suspicious as he was not smiling. He later proved to them that his condition affects his facial expressions.

Some 37 per cent of those surveyed said they often feel isolated in public, while 60 per cent said they feel nervous or uncomfortable.

Steve Ford, chief executive at Parkinson's UK, said: "Life with Parkinson's can be challenging enough, but when that is coupled with feeling scared to even go out in public for fear of freezing in a busy queue and being tutted or stared at, life can feel incredibly cruel."

Currently there are around 127,000 people living with the condition in the UK.

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