Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease: Putting It All Together

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to Parkinson’s disease.

  • Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressive condition resulting from a deficiency in the brain of a chemical called dopamine. This deficiency interrupts messages from the brain to the muscles.
  • Parkinson’s disease produces shaking of the body and limbs, slowness and difficulty beginning a voluntary movement, muscle stiffness and difficulty with maintaining balance.
  • The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. The condition is known to occur in some families, but not all Parkinson’s disease is inherited.
  • The four major signs of Parkinson’s disease are tremorrigidity, slowness of movement, and impaired balance. Some people also will experience a changed facial expression, a soft voice, cramped handwriting, pain, fatigue, depression, and constipation.
  • Parkinson’s disease may be treated with medication or surgery.
  • Medication for Parkinson’s disease aims to replace or mimic the missing chemical dopamine in the brain.
  • Surgery for Parkinson’s disease aims to destroy small portions of brain tissue or disable nerve cells.
  • Eating nutritious foods, getting enough exercise, managing stress, and remaining active are keys to living with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Great progress has been made in understanding and treating Parkinson’s disease, and research continues to uncover new clues about this condition.

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