Parkinson’s disease mainly affects people aged over 65, but it can come on earlier.
Doctors don't yet know the cause of the disorder, and it’s thought to be inherited in only a small proportion of cases. Exposure to certain toxins in the environment is also thought to play a small role.
The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- tremor or shaking, which usually begins in one arm or hand
- muscle rigidity or stiffness
- slowing of movement
- stooped posture
- balance problems.
Parkinson’s can also cause pain, depression and problems with memory and sleep.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, symptoms can be treated with a combination of the following:
- medicines to increase or substitute for dopamine
- a healthy diet with regular exercise
- modifications to the physical environment at home and work
- brain surgery.
Your doctors will tailor your treatment based on your individual circumstances. You will manage your condition best if you have the support of a team, which may include a general practitioner, neurologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist, specialist nurse and dietician.
Last reviewed: November 2016