What is Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurological condition that affects the way the brain co-ordinates body movements.
Sufferers of Parkinson’s don’t have enough dopamine in their body because some nerve cells in their brain have died. The loss of nerve cells in the brain causes the symptoms of Parkinson's to appear.
There's currently no cure for Parkinson's and scientists don't yet know why people get the condition.
How common is Parkinson's disease?
10,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the UK each year, and men and women are equally affected.
The risk of Parkinson’s increases with age, and symptoms usually appear in people over the age of 50.
Young-onset Parkinson’s disease is when the symptoms develop between the ages of 21 and 40 years old. Juvenile Parkinson’s disease is when symptoms develop before the age of 18, but this is very rare.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson's disease?
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease vary between people. There are three main symptoms: slowness of movement, shaking and stiffness of muscles. Other symptoms include tiredness, constipation and bladder weakness, depression and difficulty swallowing.
How is Parkinson's disease treated?
Drugs are the main way of controlling the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Surgical options are also available for some sufferers depending on their symptoms. Complementary therapy helps patients deal with everyday life.
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