Vancouver, BC Canada – April 1, 2022 – More than 80 Parkinson’s Disease organizations and thousands of advocates from 83 countries announce the launch of ‘The Spark,’ a new international symbol for Parkinson’s awareness, to increase conversation and public awareness around the world’s fastest growing neurological disease. The symbol will be promoted and shared around the world during World Parkinson’s Day on Monday, April 11, 2022.

The Spark, inspired by dopamine – a critical electro-chemical neurotransmitter that people with the disease are striving to retain – will be used to energize a global movement and inspire urgency, unity and hope to end Parkinson’s Disease. “The who’s who of Parkinson’s combine forces under a new symbol to keep the disease top of mind for everyone. The Spark is intended to electrify a powerful movement changing how all of us think about this disease. We want to break the stigma around Parkinson’s. We’re leading a louder call to fund medical breakthroughs. And together – we’re striving to put Parkinson’s in the past,” said Larry Gifford, founder of Global Alliance to End Parkinson’s Disease (also known as the PD Avengers).

The increasing impact of Parkinson’s on individuals, families and the global community cannot be ignored. ● Parkinson’s Disease is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. ● Parkinson’s is indiscriminate regarding gender, sex, ethnicity, age and geography. ● Up to 10% of People with Parkinson’s are diagnosed in their 40’s or younger. ● Parkinson’s is caused by a combination of genes, environmental and lifestyle influences. The interaction of all three components determines if someone will develop Parkinson’s. ● Currently, there is no cure. ● The herbicide and pesticide Paraquat is among the toxins linked to increased risk of the onset of Parkinson’s disease. It’s banned in dozens of countries including China and the UK, where they continue to manufacture the product. While a teaspoon is lethal for a human being, more 7-million pounds of Paraquat were used on crops in the United States in 2015 and that number is steadily increasing year after year. ● Parkinson’s is a misunderstood disease and the lack of awareness makes people with Parkinson’s vulnerable and discriminated against. People with Parkinson’s earn less money, have difficulty obtaining and retaining employment despite qualifications and ability. They often have to retire early. The symptoms of the disease, mean people with the disease are often mistaken for being intoxicated and in some countries are considered to be cursed by witches. Many live in constant pain. They often lose their voice, their confidence, the luxury of sleep and their ability to control their automatic functions, their limbs, and their future.


This World Parkinson’s Day, we are calling on those impacted by the disease to stand up, speak out and unite to end Parkinson’s. People can join our movement by sharing The Spark with friends, family and on social media channels on Monday, April 11, 2022.

Every organization, individual or group who want is encouraged to share The Spark in their campaign, event or communications around World Parkinson’s Day and beyond. The Spark toolkit can be downloaded here People can either personalize The Spark or share one of dozens of pre-made graphics.

### Media Contact: Larry Gifford President and Co-Founder of PD Avengers 778-233-6173