Parkinson's disease is a type of movement disorder. It happens when nerve cells in the brain don't produce enough of a brain chemical called dopamine. It usually begins around age 60, but it can start earlier. It is more common in men than in women.
Symptoms begin gradually, often on one side of the body. Later they affect both sides.
- Trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
- Stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk
- Slowness of movement
- Poor balance and coordination
As symptoms get worse, people with the disease may have trouble walking, talking, or doing simple tasks. They may also have problems such as depression, sleep problems, or trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking.
There is no lab test to detect Parkinson's, so it can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors use a medical history and a neurological examination to diagnose it.
There is no cure for Parkinson's but medicines sometimes help symptoms dramatically. Surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS) can help severe cases.