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Parkinson’s Patients Discuss ‘Love & Other Drugs’

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – “Love and Other Drugs” was filmed here in Pittsburgh and it’s now in theaters. For a local group of people, who starred in the movie, they hope people will see it as more than just a romantic love story.

The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, is more than just a steamy romantic movie. It’s about a young woman in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

For a special group of people attending a screening at the Loews Waterfront Theatre in Homestead, it hit closer to home.

“That is what I am, and the other people who are in the movie, in our scene, they are, as well,” Parkinson’s patient Judy Pergl said.

Pergl is not only a Parkinson’s patient, but she also had a small role in the film.

“I did it only for awareness of Parkinson’s, not to be on the big screen, by any means,” Pergl said. “And, they sent a driver there and drove me home, and treated me like a real princess. They made sure I was taken care of, the entire time. It was unbelievable!”

“And, I also wanted to make sure that I showed that so much of stage one Parkinson’s is about the anxiety of being sick. The anxiety of what’s to come,” Hathaway said.

Allegheny General Hospital’s Dr. Susan Baser served as the medical advisor for the movie.

“I think it puts a young face on Parkinson’s Disease, which needs to take place. In our region, up to 40 percent of our Parkinson’s patients are young onset,” Dr. Baser said.

“What I liked about this movie is that it portrayed Parkinson’s in a way that a younger person would portray it. The emotions – there’s many, many emotions. And physical things,” Pergl said.

Both Dr. Baser and Pergl hope this movie will help educate the public about the difficulties of the disease.

“It was just bringing awareness that there are illnesses out there that people do deal with, on a day-to-day basis. But not only do we deal with it, but our families deal with it,” Pergl said.

The movie has already brought in about $8 million.

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