In the United States about one million people are believed to suffer from Parkinson's disease. About 50,000 new cases are reported every year. Many things are associated with Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's disease is a very serious disease. It is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that results from degeneration of nerve cells in a region of the brain that controls movement. This degeneration creates a shortage of the brain-signaling chemical known as dopamine, causing impaired movement. There is increasing evidence that Parkinson's disease may be Genetic. Men are slightly more likely to develop the disease than women.
The average age at which Parkinson's disease is diagnosed is 60. However, about 10%-20% of those diagnosed with Parkinson's disease are under age 50, and about half of those are diagnosed before age 40. When the diagnosis is made early, it is referred to as "young-onset" Parkinson's disease.
Early symptoms of Parkinson's disease are usually mild and generally occur gradually.
You may have fatigue or a general sense of uneasiness. You may feel a slight tremor or have difficulty standing. Some may notice that their speech has become softer or that their handwriting has changed. You may forget a word or thought and have feelings of depression or anxiety. Generally, friends and family may begin to notice the changes before you do. They often notice the stiffening or lack of movement, or the absence of facial expression seen in Parkinson's disease.
As the disease progresses, it begins to interrupt daily activities. It is important to note that not all people with Parkinson's disease experience the full range of symptoms; in fact, most people with Parkinson's have mild, non-intrusive symptoms.
There have been rapid and remarkable changes over the past decade in treating Parkinson's disease. The development of new medications and an...