Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common movement disorder.
It is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes a range of motor and non-motor symptoms which develop slowly over time.
Although there’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s, a range of drugs, treatments and therapies are available to manage the symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease most commonly occurs during the person’s 60s, however it can affect people of any age.
It is more common in men than in women.
In Parkinson’s disease there is a loss of the dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra, a part of the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia structures are situated in the deep part of the brain and control well learned, automatic movements, such as writing and walking. When a significant number of the dopamine producing neurons have died, the typical PD symptoms emerge, such as slowness of movement, stiffness and tremor.
As PD progresses, other parts of the brain are affected.