Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological brain disorder that affects the cells and nerves responsible for controlling and coordinating movement.
There is no cure and it is difficult to stop the progression of Parkinson's disease, but treatments are available that ease symptoms and help restore normal movement.
The impact of Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is relatively common, affecting one person in 500 in the general population. This is a degenerative disease, so more common with advancing years and most people with Parkinsons disease are over 50.
The main symptoms that people notice are rigidity and stiffness in the muscles, an uncontrollable mild shaking that can develop into a noticeable tremor, and not being able to move as quickly as they want to.
These signs of Parkinson's disease all tend to be subtle at first then get worse over time. In some people the changes are very gradual while in others deterioration is more rapid. Symptoms may also be worse on one side of the body than the other, particularly in the early stages.
In addition to problems with movement, people with Parkinson's disease can also feel tired, dizzy, depressed and can experience aches and pains, unusual sweating and bowel disturbances such as constipation.