Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. In Parkinson's disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
What is a Parkinsonism?
Early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides. Parkinson's signs and symptoms may include:
Other symptoms that may or may not occur:
The cause of Parkinson's is largely unknown. Scientists are currently investigating the role that genetics, environmental factors, and the natural process of aging have on cell death and PD.
How to diagnose parkinsonism?
No specific test exists to diagnose Parkinson's disease. Neurologist will diagnose Parkinson's disease based on your medical history, a review of your signs and symptoms, and a neurological and physical examination.
Blood tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Imaging tests such as MRI, and PET scans may also be used to help rule out other disorders. Imaging tests aren't particularly helpful for diagnosing Parkinson's disease.
How to treat parkinsonism?
Parkinson's disease can't be cured, but medications can help control your symptoms, often dramatically.