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Parkinson disease (PD) is a brain disorder that causes tremors and problems moving.
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Dopamine is a chemical in the brain. It helps people move and control their emotions. PD is caused by a loss of brain cells that make dopamine. It is not known why this happens.
A small number of people with PD have an early-onset form. This type is caused by a faulty gene. It is passed down from parents.
PD is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Symptoms start slowly and get worse over time. Common ones may be:
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Symptoms may be enough to make the diagnosis. There are no tests for PD.
Images may be taken to rule out other causes. Tests may be:
There is no cure. Treatment is aimed at managing symptoms.
Medicines that may be used to ease symptoms are:
Medicine may also be given to ease symptoms of depression.
Surgical choices are:
Therapy can improve muscle tone, strength, balance, and movement.
Cognitive behavioral therapy may ease symptoms and improve quality of life. It has a person examine their feelings and thought patterns, learn to interpret them, and apply coping methods to situations.
There are no current guidelines to prevent PD.
National Parkinson Foundation
Parkinson's Disease Foundation
Parkinson Society Canada
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Managing Parkinson's. Parkinson’s Disease Foundation website. Available at: https://www.parkinson.org/Living-with-Parkinsons/Managing-Parkinsons. Accessed October 21, 2020.
Michels K, Dubaz O, et al. "Dance Therapy" as a psychotherapeutic movement intervention in Parkinson's disease. Complement Ther Med. 2018 Oct;40:248-252.
Parkinson's disease. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Parkinsons%20Disease.aspx. Accessed October 21, 2020.
Parkinson disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/parkinson-disease. Accessed October 21, 2020.
Parkinson's disease information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Parkinsons-Disease-Information-Page. Updated August 28, 2019. Accessed October 21, 2019.
2/24/2016 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115172/Parkinson-disease: Leung IH, Walton CC, Hallock H, et al. Cognitive training in Parkinson disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurology. 2015;85(21):1843-1851.
10/17/2016 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115172/Parkinson-disease: Ni M Signorile JF, et al. Comparative effect of power training and high-speed yoga on motor function in older patients with Parkinson disease. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Mar;97(3):345-354.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 9/4/2020