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New Young Onset Parkinson's Disease Web Site Goes Live
Date:4/14/2009

The American Parkinson Disease Association Becomes Only Major Parkinson's Organization to Launch Web Site Exclusively for People with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y., April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Parkinson Disease Association's (APDA) National Young Onset Center has launched a re-designed Web site, www.youngparkinsons.org, created specifically for people with young onset Parkinson's disease (PD), their family members, friends, and healthcare providers.

The new Web site is one of the cornerstones of APDA's plan for expanded service to the young onset community and reflects APDA's commitment to serving this population. APDA began expansion of its young onset program in 2007 with the country's first fee-standing center with full-time staff dedicated to serving the needs of young people with Parkinson's disease.

"In addition to funding scientific research, patient and caregiver support, APDA's mission is composed of education, and younger people seek their information primarily from newer technology," said APDA executive director Joel Gerstel. "We were the first to recognize the different challenges young people with PD face, and we now have the tool for them to better meet those challenges."

The Web site is contemporary, easy to navigate, and contains new content throughout. Features include an events calendar with details about upcoming PD events by state, and online publication ordering/downloading capabilities. In the "Faces of Experience" section, one of the most popular sections of the original site, visitors are able to connect with other young people with Parkinson's and learn from their stories of challenge and triumph.

While researchers indicate that 10%-20% of those diagnosed with Parkinson's disease are under the age 50, and about half of those are diagnosed before age 40, APDA's National Young Onset Center defines "young onset" more by lifestyle issues than chronological age. "We recognize that young onset patients tend to face a greater range of difficulties than those diagnosed at a more typical, later age including employment and financial matters, and relationship and parenting issues," said Julie Sacks, director of APDA's National Young Onset Center. Ms. Sacks indicated that the Web site provides younger people with the newest information and resources available to help them better manage their concerns and improve their overall quality of life.

The new Web site provides general education about a variety of topics, and visitors may request information on a particular topic and find it the following day on the "Additional Resources" page. New features will continue to be added to the site including event registration. A message board, online match program, and other interactive features are also being considered.

About APDA

The American Parkinson Disease Association, founded in 1961 to "ease the burden - find the cure" for Parkinson's disease, is the country's largest grassroots organization serving the Parkinson's community. Operating through a national network of 53 chapters, 63 Information and Referral centers and approximately 1,000 support groups, APDA focuses on funding research, patient/caregiver support, education and raising public awareness about the disease. Additional information is available at 800-223-2732 or visit www.apdaparkinson.org.

The APDA National Young Onset Center provides young people with PD, their families and their healthcare providers with the most relevant and timely education, networking and wellness information. For more information, visit www.youngparkinsons.org, or call 877-223-3801.


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SOURCE American Parkinson Disease Association
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