Parkinsonism is a neurological disorder that affects the movement of the body. It is named after James Parkinson, the British physician who first described the symptoms of the disease in 1817 as Shaking Palsy. Parkinsonism is characterized by the progressive loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, resulting in tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with coordination and balance.
Are Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease the same?
The most common type of Parkinsonism is Parkinson’s disease, which affects approximately one percent of people over the age of 60. Other types of Parkinsonism include Atypical Parkinsonism like Multiple System Atrophy, Progressive supranuclear palsy, Corticobasal degeneration.Vascular Parkinsonism and Secondary Parkinsonism.
The exact cause of Parkinsonism is not fully understood, but researchers believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role. In some cases, Parkinsonism may be caused by exposure to toxins, such as pesticides or certain metals.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
Symptoms of Parkinsonism typically begin with mild tremors in one hand or arm and may progress to affect both sides of the body over years. Other common symptoms include stiffness in the limbs, slowness of movement and thought, difficulty with balance and coordination, and a shuffling gait.
What are the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is often associated with motor symptoms, such as tremors, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). However, there are also many non-motor symptoms that can occur, some of which may appear before motor symptoms develop. Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include
» Sleep disorders: Many people with Parkinson’s disease experience sleep disorders, such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea.
» Depression and anxiety: Depression and anxiety are common non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
» Cognitive changes: Some people with Parkinson’s disease experience cognitive changes, such as difficulty with memory,