PHOTO:  The Board of Chosen Freeholders, Director Thomas A. Arnone (left), Lillian G. Burry (second from left), Deputy Director Serena DiMaso (third from right), Gary J. Rich, Sr. (next to Ms. DiMaso) and John Curley (right) presented the Parkinson’s awareness proclamation at the March 24 meeting. Accepting the citation are Anthony Pusillo, a member of the Board of Directors for the American Parkinson Disease Foundation (third from left), Cheylena Williams (next to Mr. Pusillo), the organization's program coordinator and Doris Kempton (fifth from left), a retired New Jersey school teacher.

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders dedicated part of their March 24 meeting to acknowledge that April is Parkinson’s Awareness month. The freeholders issued a proclamation thanking medical professionals and researchers who seek a cure for the disease.

“Parkinson’s is a debilitating disease that must be cured,” said Deputy Freeholder Director Serena DiMaso. “There are many unanswered questions about what causes Parkinson’s and if there is a way to prevent or more effectively treat it. We see its affects every day and admire the courage shown by those afflicted. Raising awareness and the importance of continued research of this disorder cannot be understated. I encourage those fighting Parkinson’s not to give up and thank all the caregivers who help people living with this disease.”

Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive, neurological disease that impacts the lives of one million Americans. Its cause is unknown and there is no objective test or biomarker for Parkinson’s.

The four key motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremor of the hands, arms, legs or jaw; muscle rigidity or stiffness of the limbs; slowness of movement and impaired balance and coordination. Other common symptoms may include dementia or confusion; fatigue; sleep disturbances and depression.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, it is believed that exercise reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease later in life. Caffine also appears protective with a greater decrease in risk occurring with a larger intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and D, are thought to protect against the disease but results of studies have been inconclusive.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders presented the proclamation at the March 24 meeting to Anthony Pusillo, member of the Board of Directors of the NJ Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Foundation, Cheylena Williams, the program coordinator, and Doris Kempton, a retired New Jersey school teacher.