Parkinson's PANDEMIC is on the horizon, experts warn

A Parkinson's disease pandemic is on the horizon with cases of the disease more than doubling in just 25 years.

Scientists have warned it is now the world's fastest growing neurological disorder - ahead of dementia - and shows no signs of slowing.

There are now about 6.9 million Parkinson's patients worldwide and, by 2040, the number will grow to 14.2 million as the population ages.

Neurologists are now demanding sufferers of the disease take action and protest on the streets to raise awareness in the hope of eventually finding a cure.

They claim Parkinson's is an 'enormous threat' and that campaigners should be of the belief that 'silence=death' - a stance taken by HIV protesters in the 1980s. 

Researchers suggest protests could drastically transform Parkinson's into an easily treatable condition, highlighting this is what happened with HIV.  

Celebrity sufferers Michael J Fox and Billy Connolly have worked hard to increase awareness of the disease, which claimed the life of Muhammad Ali last year. 

There are now about 6.9 million Parkinson's patients worldwide, including actor Michael J Fox

Comedian Billy Connolly has worked hard to increase awareness of the condition

There are now about 6.9 million Parkinson's patients worldwide and, by 2040, the number will grow to 14.2 million. Celebrity sufferers include Michael J Fox (left) and Billy Connolly (right)

The incurable disease claimed the life of Muhammad Ali last year. Symptoms include shaking

The incurable disease claimed the life of Muhammad Ali last year. Symptoms include shaking

According to the latest statistics, the rate of growth of Parkinson's will outpace Alzheimer's - and they say the estimates are likely conservative due to under-reporting, misdiagnosis and increasing life expectancy.

Professor Ray Dorsey, of the University of Rochester, New York, said: 'Pandemics are usually equated with infectious diseases like Zika, influenza and HIV.

WHAT IS PARKINSON'S?

Currently, about 127,000 people in the UK have Parkinson's, while figures suggest there are around one million sufferers in the US.

It causes muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, tremors, sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, an impaired quality of life and can lead to severe disability. 

It is a progressive neurological condition that destroys cells in the part of the brain that controls movement. 

Sufferers are known to have diminished supplies of dopamine because nerve cells that make it have died.

There is currently no cure and no way of stopping the progression of the disease, but the new findings offer hope.

'But neurological disorders are now the leading cause of disability in the world, and the fastest growing is Parkinson's disease.'

He made the claim in a commentary piece in JAMA Neurology alongside Dr Bastiaan Bloem of the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

Writing in the article, the neurologists said more than twice as many people had Parkinson's in 2015, compared to 1990. 

They urged the medical community to tackle the impending crisis in the same way they transformed HIV from an unknown and fatal illness into a

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