The Madden Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders has a team of experts dedicated to treating Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson's disease is a type of movement disorder. It happens when nerve cells in the brain don't produce enough of a brain chemical called dopamine. Sometimes it is genetic, but most cases do not seem to run in families. Exposure to chemicals in the environment might play a role.
Symptoms begin gradually, often on one side of the body. Later they affect both sides. They include:
- Trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
- Stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk
- Slowness of movement
- Poor balance and coordination
As symptoms get worse, people with the disease may have trouble walking, talking or doing simple tasks. Other symptoms may include trouble chewing, swallowing or speaking. Individuals may also experience depression and sleep problems.
There is no lab test for Parkinson’s, so it can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors use a medical history and neurological examination to diagnose it.
Parkinson’s disease usually begins around age 60, but it can start earlier. It is more common in men than in women. There is no cure for the disease. A variety of medicines sometimes improve symptoms dramatically. Surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS) can help severe cases. With DBS, electrodes are surgically implanted in the brain. They send electrical pulses to stimulate the parts of the brain that control movement.
Source: NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke