What is Parkinson's Disease?
disease was first described by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817. Parkinson’s
is a progressive brain disorder. Movement is normally controlled by
dopamine, a chemical that carries signals between the nerves in the
brain. When cells that normally produce dopamine die, the symptoms of
Parkinson’s appear. Parkinson’s disease is not just a movement disorder.
It is also characterized by a number of non-motor symptoms.
| Most Common Symptoms
- Slowness and stiffness
- Impaired balance
- Rigidity of the muscles
- Soft Speech
- Problems with handwriting
- Stooped posture
- Sleep disturbances
there is no cure. You can live with Parkinson’s for years. The symptoms
are treated with medication. Some people with Parkinson’s may benefit
from surgery. The following therapies can also help manage the symptoms:
- Physical therapy helps mobility, flexibility and balance
- Occupational therapy helps with daily activities
- Speech therapy helps with voice control
- Exercise helps muscles and joints and improves overall health and well-being
will worsen over time; however, each person with Parkinson’s is unique
and may experience different symptoms and different rates of
progression. As the disease progresses, non-motor symptoms may also
appear, such as depression, difficulty swallowing, sexual problems or
cognitive changes. Finding the right treatment as symptoms change over
time is important and requires the expertise of specialized health-care
professionals. It is important to find a doctor who is knowledgeable
about Parkinson’s, ideally a neurologist. By working with a health-care
team, a treatment plan can be created that will meet the person’s
For more information on Parkinson's disease, please visit www.parkinson.ca.