what is Parkinsons Disease ?

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what is Parkinsons Disease ?

Overview

Parkinson's disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.

The three main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:

  • involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
  • slow movement
  • stiff and inflexible muscles
  • A person with Parkinson's disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms, including:

  • depression and anxiety
  • balance problems – this may increase the chance of a fall
  • loss of sense of smell (anosmis)
  • problems sleeping (insomnia)
  • memory problems

  • Causes of Parkinson's disease

    Parkinson's disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.

    Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. A reduction in dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

    Exactly what causes the loss of nerve cells is unclear. Most experts think that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible.


    Treating Parkinson's disease

    Although there's currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, treatments are available to help reduce the main symptoms and maintain quality of life for as long as possible.

    These include:

  • supportive treatments – such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy
  • medication
  • in some cases, brain surgery
  • You may not need any treatment during the early stages of Parkinson's disease, as symptoms are usually mild. However, you may need regular appointments with your specialist so your condition can be monitored.