What is Parkinson’s disease?

Par·kin·son’s dis·ease
[ˈpärkənsənz dəˌzēz]

a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.


Though it is known that Parkinson’s disease is caused due to the death of dopamine secreting neurons in the brain, the exact cause of this damage is still unknown.
It is believed that environment and genetics play a role. Certain medications, toxins and other diseases can produce symptoms, similar to Parkinson’s disease, and then it is known as secondary Parkinsonism, which may be reversible.


Parkinson’s disease symptoms may vary from person to person. Early signs may be mild and may go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of the body and usually get worse on the same side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.
Signs and symptoms may include:
Trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
Stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk
Slowness of movement
Poor balance and coordination
Speech difficulty

Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured, but medications can help control symptoms. In some later cases, surgery may be advised.
Dopamine precursor: Drug which can pass through to the brain and readily get converted to dopamine. Helps in managing Parkinson’s disease.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors: Inhibits the action of catechol-O-methyl transferase an enzyme which is involved in degrading neurotransmitters.
Entacapone · Tolcapone · Opicapone · Nitecapone
Dopamine agonists: Activates dopamine receptors and helps in managing the disease.
Bromocriptine · Pergolide · Pramipexole · Ropinirole
MAO-B inhibitors: Increase the amount of dopamine in the basal ganglia by inhibiting the activity an enzyme that breaks down dopamine.
Safinamide · Selegiline · Rasagiline
Self care
Get educated about the disease
Physical activities: improves strength, flexibility, posture, balance, aerobic capacity, coordination and agility.
Support from your family.
Take charge of your treatment ( medical checkups).
Take practical measures to avoid falling.
Medical procedures: Deep brain stimulation · Carbidopa/Levodopa enteral suspension · Thalamotomy · Pallidotomy
Therapies: Physical therapy · Occupational therapy