Parkinson's Disease (PD)

What is Parkinson’s Disease (PD)?

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It is characterized by muscle rigidity, tremors, and a slowing of physical movement.

PD usually begins after the age of 50, but some may develop PD earlier in life. It is estimated that more than 10 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease include:

  • Tremor, or trembling of limbs, often most noticeable in a limb when it is at rest
  • Bradykinesia, or slowness of movement
  • Rigidity of the limbs and trunk
  • Loss of automatic movements, such as blinking or smiling
  • Poor balance and coordination
  • Speech changes

Causes of Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

The exact cause of Parkinson’s Disease is unknown. Recent research has pointed towards a combination of environmental and genetic factors as being at least partly responsible.

Environmental factors may include exposure to certain viruses, or exposure to certain toxins, such as herbicides and pesticides.

Genetic factors may involve a variety of genes and mutations associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Research has identified several potentially mutated genes associated with this disorder.

Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

The most common and accepted form of treatment for Parkinson’s Disease is medication. Several different medications are available to help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.

In addition to medication, physical and occupational therapy, and lifestyle modifications may be recommended to help manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

Surgery may also be recommended in some cases, particularly if medication is not effective in controlling symptoms.