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About This Condition
Parkinson's disease affects approximately 100,000 Canadians.1 If you're one of them, you probably know this neurological movement disorder has no cure.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological movement disorder that affects approximately 100,000 Canadians. Although it typically develops after the age of 65, about 15% of people with the condition develop "young-onset" Parkinson's disease before reaching age 50.2
As Parkinson's disease progresses, it becomes increasingly disabling, making daily activities like bathing or dressing difficult or impossible. Many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease involve motor control, the ability to control your muscles and movement.
The four primary symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:
Parkinson's disease is caused by the degeneration of a small part of the brain called the substantia nigra. As brain cells in the substantia nigra die, the brain becomes deprived of the chemical dopamine.
Dopamine enables brain cells involved in movement control to communicate, and reduced levels of dopamine lead to the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, 80% of dopamine-producing cells are lost even before the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease appear.3
Parkinson's disease often becomes increasingly disabling over time. If you suffer from Parkinson's disease you may have trouble performing daily activities such as rising from a chair or moving across a room. As the disease progresses, some people need to use a wheelchair or may become bedridden.
Parkinson Society Canada. Available at: www.parkinson.ca.
Basic Information About Parkinson’s Disease. Available at: www.apdaparkinson.org. Accessed July 15, 2008.
Parkinson Primer. Available at: www.parkinson.org. Accessed July 14, 2008.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.