Parkinson's disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged overmany years.

The three main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are:

  • involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
  • slow movement
  • stiff and inflexible muscles

A person with Parkinson's disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms, including:

  • depression and anxiety
  • balance problemsthismay increase the chance of a fall
  • loss of sense of smell (anosmis)
  • problems sleeping (insomnia)
  • memory problems

Thisleads to a reductionin a chemical called dopamine in the brain.

Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. A reduction in dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Exactly what causes the loss of nerve cells is unclear. Most experts think that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible.

However, you may need regular appointments with your specialist so your condition can be monitored.

Parkinson's diseasedoesn't directly cause people to die, but the condition can place great strain on the body, and can make some people more vulnerable to serious and life-threatening infections.

However, with advances in treatment, most people with Parkinson's disease now have a normal or near-normal life expectancy.

It includes information and advice on:

Planning for your future care needs

Assessing your care and support needs

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016