Symptoms and treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain leading to a reduction in the amount of the hormone dopamine being produced.

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter it plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. A reduction in dopamine, therefore, is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The 3 main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop gradually and typically are involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles. In the early stage of development sufferers report signs like mild tremors or difficulty in getting out of a chair.

Symptoms often begin on one side of the body or even in one limb on one side of the body. As the disease progresses, it eventually affects both sides and sufferers often experience anxiety and depression, balance problems, problems with memory and with sleeping.

The disease affects an estimated 1 in 500 people in the UK and tends to develop over the age of 50. It is more likely to develop in men than in women.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s at the moment and over time symptoms become progressively more severe.

However, there are ways of managing the severity of symptoms, which include physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Many people respond well to treatment and only experience mild to moderate disability,

There are also ways to help people to manage their disease including ensuring that they maintain balanced diet and keeping their weight at a healthy level.

Using complementary therapies such as meditation, acupuncture, use of essential oils and reflexology can also help, as can low-intensity exercise such as walking, swimming and practicing yoga.