Below is a summary of the causes, effects and treatments for Parkinson's disease. Information is collated from the NHS and from the Parkinson's UK website. Please visit the cited websites for more information.
What is Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.
- Stiff and inflexible muscles
- Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body
- Slow movement
- Memory problems
- Loss of sense of smell
- Palace problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleeping problems (insomnia)
What causes Parkinson's disease?
Parkinson's disease is caused by decreasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain over time. Dopamine is integral for regulation and coordination of movement.
Who is affected by Parkinson's?
It is estimated that one in every 350 people are affected by Parkinson's disease and 50 people are diagnosed with the disease every day. This equates to 145,000 people with Parkinson's disease in the UK (NHS, 2016).
Treating Parkinson's disease
At the moment, no cure for Parkinson's disease exist.
Several treatments exist which reduce symptoms to maintain quality of life for as long as possible. These treatments provide normal or near normal life expectancy for people with Parkinson's disease. These include brain surgery, medication and supportive treatments such as occupational and physical therapy
Recent research suggests that CBD oil, or 'cannabidiol' may be effective in reducing the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Follow the link below for more details.
What do Parkinson's UK do?
Parkinson's UK are the biggest Parkinson's research funder in Europe, and to date have invested over £85 million in research. Parkinson's UK facilitate research, fast-track better treatments for clinical use, improve clinical trials to maximise success rate, and repurpose currently approved treatments for Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's UK also provides day to day support for people with Parkinson's disease. Local Parkinson's UK teams provide a range of services (Parkinson's UK, 2017):
- Identify gaps in local services
- Provide guidance, information and support to people affected by Parkinson's disease
- Encourage people to get involved by fundraising, campaigning and volunteering
- Listen and respond to the needs of local people affected by Parkinson's
- Creates local Parkinson's UK communities
- Organise training for social care and health professionals, and develop resources and tools to improve services.
Where will your donation go?
Parkinson's UK work relies exclusively on donations.
A donation of £10 could pay for two weeks of nutrients to grow brain cells in the lab for research
A donation of £20 could fund an hour of care from a specialist nurse
A donation of £48 could fund a clinical researcher for two hours
A donation of £140 could pay for 10 helpline advisors to provide information and support
If you wish to donate, thank you! Please click HERE or visit the DONATE page.
NHS. (2016). Parkinson's disease. Retrieved from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/
Parkinson's UK. (2017). What causes Parkinson's? Retrieved from https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/what-causes-parkinsons
Parkinson's UK. (2017). Donate to Parkinson's UK. Retrieved form: https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/donate