Changing the image of Parkinson’s disease – one blog at a time

Screenshot 2014-11-05 20.40.14The general image of Parkinson’s disease is probably an old man with hands that are shaking, walking slowly and shuffling. In fact, that was my image of Parkinson’s before I was diagnosed myself. And we all know that those kind of images are very difficult to change… or are they?

A friend did an image search on Google for “Parkinsons sjukdom” (the Swedish name for our common enemy) and was surprised in a good way. And since surprises rarely are positive in chronic diseases, I thought I’d share the reason.

In Swedish, the first hit on Google image search is a pic from this blog! I guess that is one of the advantages of living in a small country: it is probably easier to have an impact.

I am very proud to be contributing to changing the image of Parkinson’s
– one blog at a time!


  1. As I understand Googles “PageRank” algorithm, it is the most important one among several mathematical formulas used to decide what you are first presented with, it ranks the search results according to the the “importance of the website”. Congratulations Sara!
    Having been busy for several months with my photo project “Dette er parkinson/This is Parkinson” which aims to change the image of PD, I´ve come to the conclusion that the disease actually does not have an “image” at all. What has an image though is the patient. People have in their heads an image of what the parkinson patient looks like. Without actually having seen any research on what that image is, I suspect it looks something like that 130 year old sketch of the stooped old gentleman. And that image can and should be changed for the benefit of us all, and as Sara has demonstrated, it is not at all impossible.

  2. Yeah, look at the other images in your screen capture – the next people shown are indeed bent-over old males!

  3. Interesting! One real question I have is — what is your interpretation of the current perception, and what do you think it should change to? I sense that it’s something like changing from “old and infirm” to “upright and active.” But you were never more specific than that. What do you think it should be? Just curious.

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