What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition primarily affecting movement of the body although some patients may also experience other neurological dysfunction like dementia. It is one of the most common neurological conditions in the elderly particularly in developed nations. The term neurodegenerative means decline of the nervous system functions and with Parkinson’s disease it mainly affects the central nervous system – the brain. However, the exact cause and disease mechanism of Parkinson’s disease is not fully understood.
Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressive disorder meaning that it gradually gets worse over a long period of time. The cause is largely unknown. Eventually there will be symptoms associated with the muscles – movement and coordination – such as resting tremor, muscle rigidity, slowness of movement called bradykinesia and postural instability. However, the effects of Parkinson’s disease along with the drugs used to treat it has a major psychosocial impact beyond just the physical symptoms.