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What is Parkinson's?

Posted on: 08 Sep 08
What is Parkinson's?

Summary

Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition affecting movements such as walking, talking, and writing. It is named after Dr. James Parkinson (1755-1824), the London doctor who first identified Parkinson's as a specific condition.


Parkinson's occurs as result of a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain known as the substantia nigra. These cells are responsible for producing a chemical known as dopamine, which allows messages to be sent to the parts of the brain that co-ordinate movement. With the depletion of dopamine-producing cells, these parts of the brain are unable to function normally.

The main symptoms of Parkinson's can also be symptoms of other disorders. Conditions that produce these symptoms are known collectively as parkinsonism. Parkinson's is the most common form of parkinsonism and is often referred to as "idiopathic Parkinson's disease" (this means of unknown cause). Other, less common, forms of parkinsonism include:

 - multiple system atrophy (MSA)

 - progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)

If you have one of these rarer conditions, the Parkinson's Disease Society can provide you with support and may be able to put you in touch with specific organisations that support people with these conditions.

For More Information: www.parkinsons.org.uk

Parkinson's Disease Society

Last updated on: 27/08/2010 11:40:18

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