Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive condition caused by reduced levels of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. This can cause tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity of muscles.
Parkinson’s is a chronic and advancing neurological condition. Clinical presentation is considered to result from the increasing deterioration and death of dopamine-producing neurons located within the basal ganglia situated at the base of the forebrain. The resulting shortage of dopamine is believed to be one of the major factors in the development and progression of Parkinson’s symptoms. The basal ganglia play a key role in well-learnt, voluntary and semi-automatic motor skills and movement. The dopamine they produce also supports cognitive skills such as, attentional and executive abilities, motivation, mood and visual perception. Further changes in associated brain regions and in other neurotransmitters are also believed to be involved in Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s progresses into a highly complex condition with most people experiencing physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms. The results affect a breadth of activities and limit participation in everyday life.Currently, no conclusive scan or test can diagnose Parkinson’s. Physical examination and self-reporting would determine, through clinical evaluation, a diagnosis. Typical motor symptoms seen in Parkinson’s are also present in a variety of associated, but distinct, Parkinsonian disorders. These include conditions such as Lewy body dementia, multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). These have a distinct prognosis and therefore require different approaches to those used for Parkinson’s.
‘Parkinson’s is a common neurodegenerative disorder and the average age at diagnosis is older than 60 years. The incidence and prevalence of Parkinson’s in the UK has recently been reviewed and as a result in late 2017 it was estimated that around 145,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with the condition; that’s about one in 350 adults in the UK. And, Parkinson’s diagnoses are set to rise by nearly a fifth by 2025’ (Parkinson’s UK 2017).
The main motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are:
Non-motor symptoms include:
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INS offers a variety of long term and short-term groups. Some of these groups are for people with a specific neurological condition, while others are open to all neurological conditions. Our groups focus on different areas; some are exercise based, others focus on managing symptoms, while others provide you with an opportunity to try out different activities.Read more