Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that is brought about by the loss or lack of dopamine in nerve cells. The subsequent loss of dopamine means that people are unable to complete usual tasks including moving as it becomes harder, movement becomes slower. The loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra in the brain causes Parkinson’s symptoms to appear.
One in every 500 people will suffer from Parkinson’s disease. most of these people are older than around 40 years of age, but sufferers can be younger. Men are slightly more likely to develop Parkinson’s than women.
There are three main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:
- Postural Instability
- Bradykinesia (Slowness of movement)
Those with Parkinson’s may also suffer from chronic pain, depression, insomnia, balance problems, loss of smell and constipation. The risk of dementia is also 2-6 times higher in people with Parkinson’s than in those without it.
These symptoms can be controlled using a combination of drugs, therapy and surgery.
Many clinic trials are used to combat Parkinson’s, stem cell treatment is now being explored in parts of the United Kingdom.
However, in some cases Parkinson’s may be difficult to diagnose as its signature tremors are often misinterpreted. Therefore, rigorous testing needs to be done. In the United Kingdom, the NICE guideline is used.