One of the most mysterious and complex neurological disorders to afflict mankind, Parkinson's disease was first described in 1817 by British physician James Parkinson, who identified its major symptoms and called it "the shaking palsy." Research progressed slowly until the early 1960s, when scientific discoveries linked the disease to the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine - a chemical which helps control muscle activity. This in turn led to the first successful treatment for Parkinson's and pointed researchers in the direction of other therapies. Unlike many other afflictions that manifest themselves later in life, Parkinson's disease is neither contagious nor, in most cases, inherited. A chronic, progressive, motor system disorder, it has four primary symptoms: tremors or shaking of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face; stiffness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk; excessive slowness of movement, a condition called bradykinesia; and instability, poor balance and loss of coordination. These symptoms become more pronounced as the disease progresses, and patients ultimately experience difficulty with such simple tasks as walking and speaking. The disease is one of a group of similar disorders called parkinsonism, all of which are related to the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. The most common of these, Parkinson's disease is also known as primary parkinsonism or idiopathic Parkinson's disease, because it has no known cause. The other forms of parkinsonism either have known or suspected causes, or occur as secondary symptoms of other neurological disorders.
The BBC reports that John Crossley-Stanbury started with the symptoms of Parkinson’s at the age of just 19, but he says people will not believe he has it, because he is so young.
Physical activity may decrease the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, research suggests.
Boosting the brain's natural cannabis-like chemicals could help treat Parkinson's disease, a study suggests.
Over 80% of people with Parkinson's disease frequently experience depression, a European survey finds.
Parkinson's disease may cripple the energy-producing centre of cells, research suggests.
An initial trial of gene therapy treatment in the US for Parkinson's patients is hailed a success.
Articles reports about a qualitative study about information needs of older people with Parkinson's disease (PD). In German, English and Spanish.
A personal story with links to information about parkinson's disease and other health related issues.
A description of the condition, as well as drug and surgical treatment.
Provides an overview of basic information including news articles, research developments and links to other web sites.
Parkinson's disease information sheet.
Provides information on this long-term neurological condition. Includes a short video and details of symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, complications and prevention.
PD is a degenerative central nervous system (CNS) disorder. A discussion about the disorder, the symptoms and treatments of this disease.
An informational booklet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Provides information and resources to help you learn more about Parkinson’s disease and how to manage its symptoms. From GlaxoSmithKline.
Dedicated to dissemination of information regarding Parkinson's disease treatments which use techniques of Asian medicine. Find patient information, handbook updates, publications and other resources.
Annual event in New York City's Central Park, to increase awareness of PD and to raise funds for research. Register online to participate or support a walker.
Natural methods and therapies said to help find relief from Parkinson’s Disease.
Factsheet on this chronic neurological disorder, including its pathogenesis, epidemiology, presentation, differential diagnosis, investigation, management and prognosis.
A National Institute of Health research study of anti-depressant medication in patients with PD, conducted at several medical centers throughout the United States and Canada by the University of Rochester.
Detailed information about this disease by Dennis Greene, a member of the Parkinson's Information Exchange Network. He has included some of his poetry and a look at the family history is also provided.
Independent and self funded medical researchers specializing in PD, based in London, England. Parkinson's Disease history, treatment, diagnosis, causes, toxic causes, genetic causes, parkinsonism, symptoms, biochemistry, prevalence, famous people, strange facts, and organizations.
A consumer health site for Parkinson's Disease, includes news and a caregiver section.
The BBC reports on Jacqueline Narnor, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in her late twenties.
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