Parkinson’s Disease: What is Parkinson’s Disease

April 27, 2022

Parkinson’s Disease:  What is Parkinson’s Disease
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Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects the small cells in the brain area called Substantia Nigra. It leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty walking, balance, and coordination.

Parkinson’s symptoms usually begin slowly and get worse over time. As the condition progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. They may also have mental and behavioural changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue. Both men and women can develop Parkinson’s disease. However, men are affected by the condition around 50% more than women.

One apparent risk factor for Parkinson’s is age. Although most people with Parkinson’s first develop the disease at about age 60, about 5 to 10 per cent of people with Parkinson’s have an early-onset disease, which begins before the age of 50. Early-onset forms of Parkinson’s are often, but not always, inherited, and some states have been linked to specific gene mutations.

The term “parkinsonism” refers to a group of brain disorders that result in rigidity, delayed movement, and tremors. Numerous factors, such as genetic mutations, reactions to medication, and infections, can cause these disorders .

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease has four primary symptoms:

  • Tremor (trembling) in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
  • Stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • Slowness of movement
  • Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls.

Other symptoms may include

  • Depression and other emotional changes;
  • Urinary problems or constipation
  • Skin problems
  • Sleep disruptions.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s and the rate of progression differ among individuals.

Sometimes people dismiss early symptoms of Parkinson’s as the effects of normal ageing. However, in most cases, there are no medical tests to detect the disease in most cases, so it can be challenging to diagnose accurately.

Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are subtle and occur gradually. For example, affected people may feel mild tremors or have difficulty getting out of chairs. In addition, they may notice that they speak too softly or that their handwriting is slow and looks cramped or small.

What is the cause of the condition?

Although there are several recognised risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, such as pesticide exposure, the only proven causes of Parkinson’s disease are genetic. When a genetic disorder does not cause Parkinson’s disease, it is classified as “idiopathic”. That means they don’t know exactly why it happened. Many conditions look like Parkinson’s disease, but they are Parkinsonism’s, which refers to conditions similar to Parkinson’s disease. In addition, some psychiatric medications can cause this condition.

Who could be the first person to detect the change in Parkinson’s patients?

Friends or family members might be the first to detect changes in someone with early Parkinson’s. For example, they may see that the person’s face lacks expression or that the person does not usually move an arm or leg.

People with Parkinson’s often develop a parkinsonian gait which is they create a way of walking that tends to lean forward, small quick steps as if hurrying along, and reduced swinging of the arms. However, they also may have trouble with continuous movement.

Symptoms often begin on one side of the body or even in one limb on one side of the body. As the disease progresses, it eventually affects both sides. However, the symptoms may still be more severe on one side than on the other.

Is this condition common?

Parkinson’s disease is a common condition that affects the brain, ranking second among age-related degenerative brain diseases. It is also the most common brain disease caused by a movement problem. It affects at least 1% of people over 60 worldwide.

Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

Stage 1

Individuals usually experience mild symptoms that do not interfere with their daily activities. Tremors and other movement symptoms occur only on one side of the body. They may experience changes in posture, walking and facial expressions.

Stage 2

Stage 2 of Parkinson’s disease can be characterised by worsening symptoms, including tremors, rigidity, and other movement problems on both sides of the body. The person can still live alone, but they find daily tasks more complex and more prolonged.

Stage 3

This is the third stage of the treatment. Again, individuals experience a loss of balance and slowness of movements. While remaining fully self-sufficient, these symptoms impair activities such as dressing and eating. Falls are more common as people get older.

Stage 4

Stage Four is when the symptoms are very severe and limit your ability to function. For example, a walker may be necessary to help an individual move. People in stage four require assistance with daily activities and cannot live independently.

Stage 5

The stiffness in your legs may make it difficult to stand or walk. The person needs a wheelchair or is bedridden. It is necessary to provide around-the-clock nursing care for all activities. In addition, the person may experience hallucinations and delusions, which may disturb their everyday life.

What Tests Will Be Done to Diagnose this Condition?

When healthcare providers suspect Parkinson’s disease or need to rule out other conditions, various imaging and diagnostic tests may be done. Among these elements are the following:

  • A blood test
  • (CT) computerised scan
  • genetic testing
  • MRI
  • Assay of the emission from the position
  • New laboratory tests are possible

The following methods shall be used in these two tests.

  • Spinal Tap – One of these tests looks for Alpha-synuclein protein in the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord. This test includes a spinal cord (lumbar puncture) where a medical officer inserts a needle into your spinal canal to collect some cerebrospinal fluid for testing.
  • Skin biology is a procedure used to collect cells from the skin. Another possible test is a biopsy of surface nerve tissue. This could be done to see if there is a problem with the nerve. A biopsy involves taking a small sample of your skin, including the nerves in the skin. The samples come from different parts of your back and one part of your leg. Analysing the samples can help determine if your alpha-synuclein has a malfunction that could make you more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.


1. What are the five 5 signs of Parkinson’s disease?

  • Tremor
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia)
  • Rigid muscles
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Loss of automatic movements
  • Speech changes
  • Writing changes

2. How does a person get Parkinson’s disease?

Genetics is the study of how genetic information affects the development and health of organisms. For example, some genetic factors have shown that a person increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, although exactly how these make some people more vulnerable. A person with Parkinson’s disease may have inherited a faulty gene from their parents.

3. What is usually the first symptom of Parkinson’s disease?

The tremor may start gradually, with just a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. However, tremors are typical, and the disorder often causes stiffness or slowing of movement. In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not move when you walk.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Department of Neurology

Department of Neurology

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