It is a condition which affects the ability of the body to control and perform normal movements such as walking or writing.
In most cases it will show itself in one or more of the following ways:
tremor or shaking in the hand or arm
stiffness in the muscles making movement difficult
slowness of movement and lack of co-ordination
Over time, some of the following effects may be experienced:
Switching off - when a person becomes stiffer and less mobile
Unsteadiness - balance may be affected, increasing the risk of falling
Dexterity - writing, and small fiddly tasks like fastening buttons, may become difficult
Speech and facial expression - may be affected due to inactivity of the facial muscles
Swallowing - may become difficult for similar reasons
Problems with memory - or other mental faculties
Anxiety and depression - feeling down
Parkinson’s is found all over the world. In the UK 1 in 500 people – around 120,000 individuals – have Parkinson’s. Although often perceived as an older person’s condition, many are affected during their working lives; of the 10,000 British people diagnosed each year, 1 in 20 is under 40 years old.
We know that it happens when certain nerve cells die in the small part of the brain that controls movement, but we don't know what causes this in certain people. It seems likely that a variety of factors play a part. There is a considerable amount of research going on at present to help us better understand the condition and to improve therapies and treatment.
Information supplied by Chester and District Branch of Parkinson's UK