Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a longstanding, progressive disorder of the central nervous system. The disease mainly affects the motor system of an individual and as a result, the patient experience shaking, the tardiness of movement and difficulty with walking. In this disorder, physiological changes begin in the brain of affected person. Starting from its early onset, the volume, and thickness of the brain cortex increases; and the level of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin decreases. As Parkinson’s progresses the rate of neurotransmitters production in the brain decreases, making a person unable to control movement normally.
What triggers Parkinson’s is still unknown. Common signs of Parkinson’s include tremor, Bradykinesia, muscle rigidity, postural instability, slurry speech, freezing, drooling and swallowing issues, sleeping disorder, constipation, loss of smell, dizziness or fainting and depression and anxiety.
Today more than 10 million people around the world are living with Parkinson’s. In the USA alone, about 60,000 individuals (Source: Parkinson Foundation, 2017) are diagnosed with the disease each year. PD is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s that can affect both genders at any age, however, it is more common in elderly people.
The disease is also commonly known as Movement Disorder, Question Mark Deformity, Stooped Posture Disease, Distorted Handwriting Disease, Short Steppage Gait and Dopamine Depletion. The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) is used to measure the longitudinal course of Parkinson’s.