Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition and people with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of a chemical called dopamine because some nerve cells in their brain have died.
There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s and we don’t yet know why people get the condition. Without dopamine people can find that their movements become slower so it takes longer to do things.
The loss of nerve cells in the brain causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s to appear. Parkinson’s doesn’t directly cause people to die, but symptoms do get worse over time. One person in every 500 has Parkinson’s. That’s about 127,000 people in the UK.
Most people who get Parkinson’s are aged 50 or over but younger people can get it too.
Everyone with Parkinson’s has different symptoms.
The main symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement.
As well as affecting movement, people with Parkinson’s can find that other issues, such as tiredness, pain, depression and constipation, can have an impact on their day-to-day lives.
The symptoms someone has and how quickly the condition develops will differ from one person to the next.
The symptoms can be controlled using a combination of drugs, therapies and occasionally surgery.
As Parkinson’s progresses, an increased amount of care and support may be required, although many people maintain a good quality of life with limited care or treatment.
The Parkinson’s UK organisation fund research into finding better treatments and ways to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. As the UK’s Parkinson’s support and research charity they ‘re leading the work to find a cure.
Research is helping us understand Parkinson’s better and better.
It’s not easy to diagnose ; there are no laboratory tests so it’s important that the diagnosis is made by a specialist.
The specialist will examine the person for any physical signs of Parkinson’s and take a detailed history of the symptoms they’re experiencing.
Find out more information you can get an information sheet from the organisation by going on the website, www.parkinsons.org.uk or telephone the helpline: 0808 800 0303
If you have been recently diagnosed with the disease, you are not alone. Many famous people have been affected by Parkinson’s including:
- Muhammad Ali.
- Michael J. Fox.
- Johnny Cash.
- Bob Hoskins
- Linda Ronstadt
- Billy Connolly
- Estelle Getty
To name a few that we have probably heard of. The disease is no respecter of celebrity, wealth or intelligence.
There is support and advice available and most locations have a group where families can get together and give each other help.