April marks worldwide Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Here’s what you need to know about the disease that affects more than 80,000 Australians.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition where a neurotransmitter called dopamine is not produced at adequate levels in the brain. Dopamine is the chemical that controls movement, therefore people suffering from Parkinson’s struggle with muscle rigidity and tremors, but the disease also impacts many non-movement functions.
Parkinson’s can affect anyone; however, the average age of diagnosis is 65 years. Younger people can be diagnosed too, which is when the disease is referred to as Young Onset Parkinson’s.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease and no understanding of why a person develops the disease.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
According to the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor, there is a large range of symptoms that people living with Parkinson’s can experience. These symptoms are broken into two categories; motor and non-motor symptoms.
- Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
- Muscle Rigidity
- Postural instability.
- Sensory loss
- Mood disorders
- Cognitive changes
- Sleep disorders
- Speech problems
- Swallowing difficulties.
It is important to remember that people living with Parkinson’s will not experience all of these symptoms, and each person’s symptoms will progress at a different rate.