Parkinson’s disease currently affects 1 in 100 people over 60. Most people who get Parkinson’s are aged 50 or over, but younger people can get it too. For every 20 patients, 1 is under the age of 40. With a continuously ageing population, the percentage who are over 60 is predicted to rise from 22% at present to nearly 29% in 2033 and 31% in 2058 (AgeUK). Currently there are ~127,000 people suffering from Parkinson’s in the UK and from the look of things the number will rise.
The debilitating motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease dramatically affect the patients’ quality of life. Beyond that, Parkinson’s also affects all of us as a society. The economic burden of Parkinson’s is in the area of £2 billion annually (source: Imperial College London). Research has also shown that the cost of illness escalates as the disease progresses (Figure 1). This can be partially explained because of the increasing need for care as the disease progresses. The later appearance of the “wearing-off” effects of symptomatic treatments has a major negative contribution to this. While the overall cost estimates vary from country to country, the common denominator is the large direct cost of patient care and nursing. Indirect costs arising from lost productivity and carer burden tend to be high (Findley LJ, 2007).
As it is evident from the above, that the need for a cure is becoming more and more imperative, for the patients and for our society as a whole. Parkure’s mission, to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease, is driven by this need and we are set to do our best to address it.