What is Parkinson Disease?
Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that predominantly affects the dopamine producing nerve cells in the brain. The part of the brain that is affected is called the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia communicates with a part of the brain called the corpus striatum to produce smooth controlled movements. It uses dopamine for this and in Parkinson Disease not enough dopamine is produced to allow this smooth movement to happen. The greater the loss of dopamine the worse the symptoms. Although not everyone will have the same symptoms.
In general, the symptoms develop slowly over years. They tend to begin on one side and progress to the other. Everyone is affected differently in terms of both the progression of the illness and the types of symptoms.
Most people are diagnosed after the age of 60 years but some people are diagnosed earlier.
The symptoms are both motor and non-motor. Sometimes the non-motor symptoms are actually more bothersome than the motor ones.