Every year, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It’s a devastating disease that causes degeneration in the part of the brain that helps to control movements. Many people with treatable symptoms can go undiagnosed for years, some even decades. The earlier Parkinson’s is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin, increasing the potential for better health outcomes.

One of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease is loss of the sense of smell. Commonly affected scents are peppermint, anise, and coffee.  So what if a humble cup of coffee could help diagnose Parkinson’s disease?

On National Coffee Day, McCann Health New York set out to make coffee a powerful tool in early Parkinson’s detection on behalf of the Parkinson’s Research and Education Foundation with its campaign, “Parkinscents.” The agency partnered with coffee shops across America and created characters to educate us all on the importance of early diagnosis. With coffee sleeves, lids, posters, tent cards, coasters and an interactive website, people were able to learn the signs of Parkinson’s and when it may be time to see a doctor.  This activation followed a hugely successful pilot program at the World Parkinson’s Congress in Japan targeting both consumers and health care professionals.

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