It is a movement disorder caused by a lack of a brain chemical called dopamine produced by nerve cells in the brain. It may run in families in some cases, but in most cases it does not. There may be a role for environmental chemicals.
There is usually a gradual onset of symptoms, which usually affect one side of the body.
Eventually, both sides are affected. Among them are:
- Body tremors, including trembling hands, arms, legs, jaws, and faces
- Muscle stiffness in the arms, legs, and trunk
- A slow pace of movement
- Coordination and balance problems
People with the disease may have difficulty walking, talking, or performing simple tasks as the disease progresses. Additionally, they may struggle with depression, sleeping problems, and difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking.
The diagnosis of PD can be challenging since there is no specific test for it. It is diagnosed by a medical history and a neurological examination.
It usually begins around the age of 60, but can begin earlier. Men are more likely to suffer from it than women.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes, medicines can significantly improve symptoms. Severe cases may benefit from surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS involves surgically implanting electrodes in the brain. Electrical pulses are sent to the parts of the brain responsible for movement control.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about Parkinson`s disease, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych