Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological condition that affects the actions of an individual such as walking, writing and talking. Parkinson’s Awareness Week and World Parkinson’s Day, held this month, aim to highlight the condition and how people are affected by it.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
The progressive condition was named after Doctor James Parkinson who originally identified the condition during the nineteenth century.
What causes Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is caused by the loss of nerve cells in an area of the brain known as the Substantia Nigra. This reduction of cells lowers the production of the chemical Dopamine. When this happens the brain’s capacity to coordinate movement is greatly affected. If the production of dopamine drops by about 80%, the symptoms of the disease start to appear.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Symptoms can be classified into two types: Motor and Non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms include rigidity or stiffness of muscles, tremors or ‘shakes’ and slowness of movement. Non-motor symptoms include depression, constipation, urinary urgency and sleep disturbances. The type and severity of symptoms may vary from person to person.
Prevention of Parkinson’s Disease
There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease. However research is being carried out to see if there is any biochemical abnormality that is shared by all those who suffer from the disease.
What is Parkinson’s Awareness Week and World Parkinson’s Day?
The yearly awareness campaigns from Parkinson’s UK focus on educating people about the condition, provide help to raise vital funds and support the individuals and their friends and families who are affected.