When a patient is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, people may think that they will inevitably die from the degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which may affect a person's motor skills and speech.
But it's not life-threatening. Through an active lifestyle, secondary conditions such as pneumonia can be prevented.
To raise awareness of this often misunderstood disease – the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease – a team of 10 students from the Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) organized a charity run at Punggol Waterway Park yesterday, supported by the Central Singapore Community Development Council and The Parkinson Society Singapore (PKS)
More than 300 people came to the event, which takes place in the second year. So far the run ̵
HCI student Ivan Ang, 17, a junior undergraduate in the first year, said the curiosity of his team The topic was raised in 2015 after it became known that the founding minister Lee Kuan Yew had Parkinson's disease. "After some research, we found that the disease, its symptoms, and its management are very little known, and many misunderstand it for Alzheimer's disease."
The students found that exercise and exercise were active The team also led other initiatives, such as developing a device that can simulate involuntary hand shaking, with which patients in collaboration with the National Neuroscience Institute. This helps the public to experience the symptoms and empathize with the patients.
HCI Team Member Lee Zhan Hong, 17: "Simple tasks such as picking up a glass of water may be easy for us, but it could be difficult for patients to experience symptoms."
The students also produced a documentary based on interviews based on Parkinson's disease.
Although there are 6,000 to 8,000 people living with Parkinson's disease, Madame Neo Siew Hiong, a PSS director, said only about 500 members of the PSS provide support and events for patients.
She said, "Some patients may not want to participate in programs because of the social stigma associated with the disease. But supporting groups and having a positive attitude can help them to better manage their conditions."  A Jurong GRC MP, Ms. Rahayu Mahzam, who was the guest of honor at the event, praised the efforts of the students. "We need more initiatives like this, where citizens see something they value, and engage in issues that may not be as popular as other causes."
Ms. Rahayu, who served on the Executive Committee of The Seniors Group of the People's Action Party, said more attention should be paid to Parkinson's disease given the aging population in Singapore.
Retired pub manager Annie Lan (67), who completed the 2km run, was diagnosed in 2005 with the disease that more awareness can help reduce the stigma surrounding the disease.
"When we go out, people sometimes stare at us but we are no different from them." By training and staying active every day, I can do most of my own and fight the symptoms. "