What is Parkinson’s Disease?

I won’t be spending a lot of time on technical medical stuff, after all I am not a medical professional (and it is quite boring).  The blog is not intended as a medical journal, but as the mainly positive, often humorous, but (inevitably) fed up, ramblings of a middle aged woman who happens to have PD.

Also, everything you want (and don’t want) to know about PD can be found on the NHS website.

Official nhs definition :

Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra.  This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.  A reduction in dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.  What exactly causes the loss of nerve cells is unclear.

I can actually do my own survey (without actually doing a survey) about what a lot of people will say when you ask them about PD:

  • Who gets it : old people
  • Symptoms :  a tremor
  • Do you know anyone with PD? : my grandad/uncle/next door neighbour/guy in the chip shop/ ‘s friend knows someone with Parkinson’s but he’s in his 90s

Admittedly these could all be true.  But did you know :

  • 1 in every 500 people have Parkinson’s Disease
  • That’s about 127,000 in the UK
  • Mainly over 50 but many under 50
  • 1 in 3000 are diagnosed with early onset
  • Not everyone gets a tremor, there are many other symptoms.
  • It is a very individual condition, everyone is different and experiences it differently.

NB : Parkinson’s Disease is a very individual condition and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it.  I am not medically trained, so please promise that you will speak to a medical professional for advice or any concerns.