Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder where there is a loss of cells in the brain that produce dopamine, which is a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals that coordinate movement.
The average age of onset of symptoms is 60, but it has been diagnosed as young as 13. The trend, unfortunately, is that people are being diagnosed at earlier ages, which is called Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.
Every day, 195 people in the United States are newly diagnosed, and the disease affects more than just the person who has it – it affects the entire family.
No one knows for sure how Parkinson’s will progress in an individual. The outward signs may include tremors, slowness of movement, balance problems and rigidity. There is no known cure – at least not yet.
The “Three D’s” of Parkinson’s are:
1. Disability (physical issues);
2. Depression (emotional issues), and
3. Dementia (cognitive issues).
Not everyone experiences all of these, as every Parkinson’s patient is different.