A new awareness campaign has been launched by the European Parkinson's Disease Association which is aimed at persuading decision makers and politicians to end inequalities in care and treatment access for people with the disease.

The campaign, titled Parkinson's is visible, make it livable, was launched at the Congress of the European Federation of Neurological Societies in Madrid. It comes after research conducted by EPDA among 3,000 people showed that the majority do not feel in control of their symptoms and almost half of all respondents described how depression and mood swings placed an added strain on relationships with partners and families.

EPDA president Stephen Pickard noted that Parkinson's “is a costly disease and places a huge burden on carers and society as a whole”. He added that “we need governments to realise that taking action to reduce this burden by ensuring people receive the best care and treatment available makes the most economic and social sense”.

Mr Pickard went on to say that there are nearly 1.2 million people living with Parkinson's in Europe, “and with an ageing population this figure is set to rise. It's time to address inequalities in care and treatment of the disease and improve the lives of those affected by Parkinson's now and in the future”.

Speaking at the event, campaigner, Tom Isaacs who has lived with the disease for 12 years, said: "It always amazes me how Parkinson's is so visible socially and yet seemingly invisible to society. This is a ruthless condition and help is needed throughout Europe”.