Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to
  • Shaking (tremors)
  • Difficulty with walking
  • Movement and coordination

It is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly. It affects both men and women. Parkinson's disease most often develops after age 50.
In some cases, Parkinson's disease runs in families. When a young person is affected, it is usually because of a form of the disease that runs in families.

Dopamine is required by the brain cells to control and coordinate movement in the individual. When the cells responsible for the production of Dopamine is destroyed and thus the levels of Dopamine drop Parkinson's disease occurs , Without dopamine, the nerve cells in that part of the brain cannot properly send messages. This leads to the loss of muscle function. The damage gets worse with time. The exact cause of death of these brain cells is not known.

Symptoms would begin with mild tremor or a slight feeling that one leg or foot is stiff and dragging. Symptoms may affect one or both sides of the body, and can include:
  • Slow blinking
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Movement problems, which include:
  • Problems with balance and walking
  • No expression in the face (like you are wearing a mask)
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Drooling
    • Difficulty starting movement, such as starting to walk or getting out of a chair
    • Difficulty continuing to move
    • Slowed movements
    • Loss of small or fine hand movements; writing may become small and difficult to read; eating becomes difficult
  • Rigid or stiff muscles, often beginning in the legs
  • Shaking, called tremors
    • Usually occurs in the limbs at rest, or when the arm or leg is held out
    • Goes away when you move
    • Eventually may be seen in the head, lips, tongue, and feet
    • May be worse when tired, excited, or stressed
    • Finger-thumb rubbing (pill-rolling tremor) may be present
  • Slowed, quieter speech and monotone voice
  • Stooped position
  • Low blood pressure when getting up, sweating, drooling, lack of body temperature control. These problems are due to something called autonomic dysfunction.

Other symptoms may include:
  • Anxiety, stress, and tension
  • Confusion
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Fainting
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss

There is no known cure for Parkinson's disease with modern medicine. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms.
Medications control symptoms, mostly by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. At certain points during the day, the helpful effects of the medication often wears off, and symptoms can return. If this happens to you, your health care provider.