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A man who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 31 is even mistakenly considered DRUNK by nurses

A man who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 31 has revealed that people – including nurses – often regard his vague speech as drunk.

Ryan Cameron, 36, from Bedfordshire, was told he had Parkinson’s after doctors had performed tests to find out why his movements had slowed down.

Cameron was depressed when he tried to cope with the shocking diagnosis, which also forced him to leave school as a teacher.

Only a handful of patients develop Parkinson’s, which causes symptoms such as tremors and trembling before they turn 50.

Foreigners have called him a ‘grumpy git’ – because he has fewer facial expressions – assuming he is old, or asked why he uses a disabled parking space.

Mr. Cameron told his story after a survey today showed that 87 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease had a similar judgment or discrimination.

Ryan Cameron, 36, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the age of 31, has revealed that he is mistakenly believed to be drunk - even by nurses. Pictured with his fiancé Kelly Lara, 28

Ryan Cameron, 36, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 31, has revealed that he is mistakenly believed to be drunk – even by nurses. Pictured with his fiancé Kelly Lara, 28

The former teacher at the lesson penetrated into depression when he tried to process the shocking diagnosis in October 2014. On the photo with Mrs. Lara

The former physical education teacher fell into depression when he tried to process the shocking diagnosis in October 2014. Pictured with Mrs. Lara

The former teacher at the lesson penetrated into depression when he tried to process the shocking diagnosis in October 2014. On the photo with Mrs. Lara

One in five people with Parkinson’s was accused of being drunk because of their symptoms, according to the Parkinson UK study.

Cameron, engaged to Kelly Lara, 28, whom he met in 2017, before retiring, said: “There is so much misunderstanding.

“People don’t realize how serious Parkinson’s is. I am told that I am “too young” and that “it is a condition of an old person”.

“I showed a nurse at the hospital that I drank my jerky movements because I went to A&E with pain in my stomach, even after I told her I have Parkinson’s.

“I have trouble expressing my emotions through my facial expressions – a common symptom – and people just call me a” grumpy git. “

“On my good days when my symptoms are manageable, people often tell me I don’t look sick, which can be frustrating.”

In September 2013, Mr Cameron, who was fit and healthy, had just started a new job as a PE teacher at a special school.

WHAT IS THE DISEASE OF YOUNG ONSET PARKINSON?

Parkinson’s disease in young people (YOPD) affects people younger than 50 years old.

In the US, about two to 10 percent of patients are younger than 50, while only 1.2 percent live in the UK. Parkinson’s is usually diagnosed in people over 60.

In general, Parkinson’s affects one in 500 people and around 127,000 people in the UK live with the condition.

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

It is known that people suffering from dopamine have a reduced supply because nerve cells that cause it to die.

There is currently no cure and no way to stop the progression of the disease, but hundreds of scientific trials are underway to try and change that.

Symptoms include:

  • Tremors of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • Stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • Slow motion
  • Decreased balance and coordination

Sufferers can also experience depression, insomnia and cognitive problems.

He struggled with the increased typing needed for the task and discovered that his right hand fingers would stay on certain keys on the keyboard longer than he intended.

Cameron also had pain in his shoulder and his right arm and leg moved slower than he had expected.

“I found it hard to get going in the morning and my movements were slow,” Mr. Cameron said.

He went to his doctor in April 2014 and was referred to the neurology department at Luton and Dunstable Hospital in June to visit a consultant.

Cameron said: ‘Parkinson’s never even occurred to me. I was sure it was a nerve.

“I was sent for tests in August and people talked about things like motor neuron disease and MS.

“When I was diagnosed with a young onset of Parkinson’s in October 2014, I fell apart. I have always been a happy person, but that diagnosis was very difficult. ”

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that can develop at any age and causes symptoms such as involuntary shaking, slow movements, and stiff or inflexible muscles.

An estimated 145,000 people were diagnosed in the UK in 2018, with men slightly more likely to get it than women.

Young onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD) occurs in people under 50 years of age, with about one in 20 people with the condition experiencing symptoms for the first time when they are under 40.

Cameron said strangers called him a “grumpy git” – because he has fewer facial expressions – assuming he’s old, or asked why he uses a disabled parking space. Pictured with Miss Lara

Cameron, pictured with his fiancé Miss Lara, told his story after an investigation today revealed that 87 percent of people with Parkinson's disease had to deal with judgment or discrimination

Cameron, pictured with his fiancé Miss Lara, told his story after an investigation today revealed that 87 percent of people with Parkinson's disease had to deal with judgment or discrimination

Cameron, pictured with his fiancé Miss Lara, told his story after an investigation today found that 87 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease had to deal with judgment or discrimination

Cameron said: “It shocked me that I would have this for life, because I knew there was no cure at the moment.

“I immediately started taking Parkinson’s medication. It took me a while to find the right medication for me and my dosage continued to change. I stopped taking one medication very quickly after I started getting blackouts.

“Six months after my diagnosis I became depressed. I was worried about my future and took antidepressants for six months. It took about a year to process my Parkinson’s. “

It was difficult for Mr. Cameron to accept that he was unable to do the things he could do in the past, and as his symptoms progressed, he had to quit his job.

He said: ‘I had to stop teaching. But although I have Parkinson’s, I am the same person as before my diagnosis.

“I’m getting married next year to my fiancé Kelly, which we’re really looking forward to.”

To help his symptoms, Cameron is currently preparing for deep brain stimulation – a type of major brain surgery where the patient is awake.

Cameron, who hopes that the operation will improve his symptoms before his wedding day, said: “It is clearly a serious operation, but there are many benefits.

“My advice to others who have just been diagnosed is that it may feel like the end of the world – but it is not.”

The findings of the largest study of its kind, involving more than 2,300 people with Parkinson’s, were published today on World Parkinson’s.

Like Mr Cameron, more than half (54 percent) of people with Parkinson’s have said that people do not believe the disease.

A quarter (24 percent) were told that they were “too young” to get Parkinson’s, and three fifth (59 percent) were told that they “don’t look sick.”

Meanwhile, more than half (57 percent) had canceled plans or avoided social situations because of shame about their symptoms or fear of how people might respond to them.

Parkinson’s UK has launched a new campaign to address misconceptions about the condition and to reduce the negative experiences of people with the condition.

Steve Ford, general manager of the charity, said: “It is heartbreaking that so many cancel or avoid social situations because of shame about the symptoms of their Parkinson’s or fear of how people will respond to them.

“We hope our new Parkinson’s campaign, in which people in the UK share how the condition affects them, helps fight negative attitudes and correct misconceptions about this much misunderstood condition.”

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