Understanding Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system resulting from the loss of dopamine in the mid-brain.  At first this lack of dopamine affects movement – so people with Parkinson’s develop rigidity, tremors and balance problems.  Later they may develop thinking and behavioral problems.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder (one that affects nerve cells) after Alzheimer’s disease. About 100,000 people in Canada have Parkinson’s.

The disease is most common in people over 50, although 35 per cent of diagnoses are Young Onset Parkinson’s – occurring in people between 21 and 40.

The cause of Parkinson’s is still unknown and the incidence is increasing faster than can be explained simply by an aging population.