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Parkinson's disease (PD) & movement disorders

Parkinson's disease (PD) & movement disorders

Loss of particular nerves in the brain can causes people with Parkinson's disease to have a tremor and difficulty with movement.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive brain condition that largely affects movement.

The symptoms of PD mainly comprise tremor (involuntary shaking), muscle stiffness and slow physical movement, but it can also affect mood and is sometimes associated with dementia. It is a common condition that affects around 1 in 500 people. It most often occurs in the over 60s, although there are younger-onset forms. Men are more likely to be affected than women.

PD is caused by a loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in the amount of a chemical called dopamine. The cause of this neurodegeneration is unknown, although most researchers think it results from a combination of genetic ‘risk factors’ and environment or lifestyle ‘triggers’. There are rare forms of PD that run in families.

There is no cure for PD but the symptoms can be managed with dopamine-replacement drug treatment, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.

Further information

Parkinson’s UK

NHS Inform: Parkinson's disease