Parkinson’s disease is the progressive degeneration of the nervous system, including particular regions of the brain.
The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include a tremor in the arm or hands, slowness of movements, and muscle rigidity. Other symptoms include balance problems, nerve problems, dizziness, and difficulties swallowing, amongst others.
Parkinson’s disease is characterised by a deficiency in the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the region of the brain called the substantia nigra. It is believed that Parkinson’s may be caused by a combination of genetic predispositions and environmental influences. However, the exact cause is unknown.
Currently, no cure exists for Parkinson’s disease, and so treatment primarily involves managing symptoms. Treatments include supportive therapy such as physiotherapy, medication, and surgery. Medication focuses on dopamine replacement therapies, such as Levodopa, dopamine agonists, catechol-o-methyltransferase inhibitors, and monoamine oxidase-B inhibitors.