Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological condition that affects a person’s control of their body movements. In Australia, it affects 150,000 people with 38 people diagnosed every day.
It is important to note that not everyone will experience the same symptoms, and the order in which symptoms appear and the way symptoms progress also varies from person to person.
Additionally, non-motor symptoms such as sleep disturbance, constipation and loss of sense of smell can pre-date the motor symptoms, such as a tremor, slowness of movement or rigidity, by up to a decade.
Parkinson’s results from the loss of cells in various parts of the brain, including a region called the substantia nigra. When dopamine production is depleted, the motor system nerves are unable to control movement and coordination. The dopamine producing cells are lost over a period of years and the motor type symptoms such as tremor, rigidity etc. will start to appear.