Demeaning image of Parkinson's

Does anyone think, a I do, that the image used to represent Parkinson’s in Wikipedia is inappropriate? I understand that it has historical interest but it really is demeaning and does not accurately reflect the everyday reality of the huge majority of sufferers.

Hi Paul,

In some ways yes and some ways no, unfortunately this is true reality of PD in the more progresses stages, my mum has had PD for over 10 years, in the last 5 years she’s had lots of moments when her body curls over like this. The good thing about Wikipedia is that you can request to change images or even upload images yourself, but I think this the classical textbook image of it.
I agree though, it may be more helpful to show what people with PD look like at other times of the day not just when they experience an attack of PD.

Apparently the image is a hundred years old. That’s what I’ve been told. That’s why he is wearing a waistcoat and carpet slippers! I am rather fond of him, mainly because he reminds me of my dad, and my grandad who both had Parkinson’s, and when I started walking like that, I knew I had it too.

But I know a lot of people dislike him, and of course he is out of date and it would be better to have a modern image. Why don’t you edit the Wikipedia entry? If you upload a new image you will have to certify that you have copyright of the image. My guess is that the outdated Wikipedia image is there because it was out of copyright a long time ago,

Aside from the carpet slippers and waistcoat my husband looks like this at times - it’s what first confirmed for me that he has some form of Parkinson’s. It’s out of date in style yes but I don’t find it inappropriate or demeaning. I can understand if you do though as many people are uncomfortable about images of disability.

P.s. I’ve just seen you are a cyclist. My husband is too, his balance is excellent on his bike unlike on foot!

Hi Paul, I can see where you are coming from and if you asked the question last year I would have probably agreed with you. However Mr parky which was dx 4 years ago though like most had it for several years before positive dx, has certainly accelerated in my case a lot faster than I or my health team were expecting. This is unfortunately for me a fairly accurate body position for me, especially at the start of the day. It then gets better during the day to some degree. However, late afternoon depending to some degree on what I have been doing it’s me again.

At first it was the odd day but now I can honestly say it’s everyday. I won’t go in to a long history of my spinal condition but for the last 20+ years I have my back x-rayed or MRI about every 2 years. Up until 2018 my spine was normally aligned. However 2 years ago it clearly showed a lateral twist and a forward curvature. Some could be due to my injury in 1985 however medical opinion is muscles spasms due to Mr parky have contributed significantly to this.

On really bad days I can’t even walk from the front of the house to the back and have had to accept that a wheelchair is the only way to maintain my dignity and independence. Those who know me were not surprised as they know I am fiercely independent and don’t like accepting help or making others adapt so I can still be active with them.

I will conclude that Mr parky always with a small ‘p’ does not own me or define me. I love life, I love travel and adventures, I love to canoe and I love being active with my fantastic loving family and friends. I may have adapted how I do these things but that is my choice. My mantra is 'I have chosen to be HAPPY as it is good for my life & Health’.
Stay strong and live for now and not what becoming :sunglasses::blue_heart:

Hi Paul,

I agree, what a terrible image. Can you imagine being diagnosed with PD and looking it up and finding this image? I did and it was scary - still is. I think we should look for a more up to date image, at least have a shave, and loose the slippers! I’ll have a look at what’s out there.

Hi Lindsay,
Exactly my experience and it didn’t fill me with optimism. I guess it may be difficult to find a single image that captures the physical effects of the disease but I’d prefer a brain imaging type picture as is shown for other neurological conditions.
Please let me know if you find anything better and I’ll look for something too.
All the best,

i agree with Paul,i have young onset Parkinsons and that doesn’t represent me ,