Parkinson's UK releases report to coincide with World Parkinson's Day today. Their study shows many people encounter prejudice resulting from mostly ignorance about the disease.

Thursday, on Nov. 20, 2014, Shirin Vala, 65, who is an essential tremor patient.
Thursday, on Nov. 20, 2014, Shirin Vala, 65, who is an essential tremor patient. (AP)

People living with Parkinson's disease say they face abuse due to a lack of awareness around symptoms associated with the condition.

Nine out of 10 people with the condition say they have been harassed or discriminated against, the research by charity Parkinson's UK has found.

For Gary Berry walking his dog Teal is a joy, but it's a joy which isn't always easy.

Berry is one of around 145,000 people who live with Parkinson's in Britain.

"A typical day for me is fatigue, extreme fatigue, poor coordination, balance, trips, falls, gut problems, pain," says Berry.

Berry has Parkinson's, which is a condition where damage to parts of the brain can make it difficult to move. And a condition which has made him the subject of abuse.

Symptoms confused with drunkenness

He describes one occasion, "I was reversing out the car park and I accidentally clipped a small white car and there was lady in the car and she got out the car and said, 'I've been watching you walk around the park you're dog, you're (bleeped obscene word) I'm phoning the police.' And then there was a barrage of abuse, the language was spewing out of her mouth."

On another occasion, a taunting video of Berry was uploaded to Facebook.

Berry's daughter and carer Amy says, "It was awful. It actually made me cry. It made me really upset because there's my dad who's so innocent in this, and it just was really, really upsetting."

New figures show Gary's experience isn't unusual according to Parkinson's UK. They've released this video to tackle the prejudice people with the disease are facing through no fault of their own.

87 percent patients harassed

The charity's also released a new study that claims 87 percent of Parkinson's patients say they've faced some sort of harassment or discrimination.

Half those questioned said their symptoms had been disbelieved and almost a quarter said their symptoms had been mistaken for drunkenness.

Television adverts have tried to target the lack of awareness of the symptoms. Much of the general public will have heard about the tremors people with Parkinson's have, but they aren't aware of other symptoms such as freezing, or slow movement and changes in the voice.

Also, the association of the disease with older people means younger people with the disease tend to struggle the most.

"It's tough enough living with all of the symptoms that impact on everyday life and it just makes it harder when you're constantly having to explain, or justify it or just deal with the kind of ignorance and prejudice that's out there," Parkinson UK's Chief Executive Steve Ford says.

For Gary the message is clear: a little bit more consideration could go a really long way.

Source: AP