What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, leaving a person unable to control movement normally. The four key motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are: tremor of the hands, arms, legs or jaw; muscle rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; slowness of movement; and impaired balance and coordination.

An estimated 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson’s disease. In the U.S., 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD each year.

The cause of PD is not known and there is currently no test to diagnose the disease. Although there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, there are treatment options available such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms.

The combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinson’s disease, including treatment, social security payments and lost income from inability to work, is estimated to be nearly $25 billion a year in the U.S. alone.

To find out more about Parkinson’s disease, please check out the links provided:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is the world leader in funding for Parkinson’s research. This site will provide you with the latest in PD medical treatments, allow you to search and sign up for patient research trials, and volunteer to raise money through the foundation’s Team Fox initiatives.

National Parkinson’s Foundation

For over half a century, the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) has focused on meeting the needs in the care and treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). NPF has funded more than $182 million in care, research and support services. NPF has chapters and support groups around the country serving more than 100,000 people. The Huntington and Vienna support groups are affiliated with the NPF.

Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation has excellent resource materials about Parkinson’s and is a major source of research funding. Their section s “Understanding Parkinson’s” and “living with Parkinson’s” are well written and very informative.

If you are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, here are “12 Actions You Should Take If Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease” should know.