Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2018

Document Type

Capstone project: USD users only

Degree Name

MA Leadership Studies


Leadership Studies


In San Diego County alone it is estimated that there are 60,000 people affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD) either having it themselves or caring for someone with the illness. Due to the massive number of patients, physicians are overwhelmed and unable to provide their patients with the emotional support they need to cope with their new normal. It is typical for neurologists to spend no more than twenty minutes with their patients every three to four months. This leaves a large period of time for the patients to search for information on their own on the internet where data is inaccurate and misleading, which leads to a great deal of panic. In addition to the problems that already exist, because only about 10% of those diagnosed with PD are under the age of 50 (also known as early onset, young onset or YOPD) the specific challenges they face are often not addressed. Living with PD at the age of 50 is very different then at the age of 70. However, currently the care both patients receive is the same. The purpose of the analysis is to suggest a new culture of care for individuals under the age of 50 who are living with Parkinson’s disease. It will be divided into the following sections; Prologue, Background, YOPD, Diagnosis and Treatment, Gap, Solution, Online Forum, Importance of Maintaining a Positive Attitude, Significance of Exercise, SWOT analysis, Theories, Future Research and Conclusion.