Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease

About Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson disease, Parkinson's, idiopathic parkinsonism, primary parkinsonism, PD, hypokinetic rigid syndrome/HRS, or paralysis agitans) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioural problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. PD is more common in the elderly, with most cases occurring after the age of 50. The main motor symptoms are collectively called parkinsonism, or a 'parkinsonian syndrome'.

Contributions by Bldavids, AFGriffithMD, and Jfdwolff.