BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuParkinson diseaseParalysis agitans; Shaking palsyParkinson disease results from certain brain cells dying. These cells help control movement and coordination. The disease leads to shaking (tremors) and trouble walking and moving.TremorsA tremor is a type of shaking movement. A tremor is most often noticed in the hands and arms. It may affect any body part, including the head or vo...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Trouble walking and movingWalking abnormalities are unusual and uncontrollable walking patterns. They are usually due to diseases or injuries to the legs, feet, brain, spinal...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Causes Nerve cells use a brain chemical called dopamine to help control muscle movement. With Parkinson disease, the brain cells that make dopamine slowly die. Without dopamine, the cells that control movement can't send proper messages to the muscles. This makes it hard to control the muscles. Slowly, over time, this damage gets worse. No one knows exactly why these brain cells waste away.Dopamine This test measures the levels of catecholamines in the blood. Catecholamines are hormones made by the adrenal glands. The three catecholamines are ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Parkinson disease most often develops after age 50. It is one of the most common nervous system problems in older adults.The disease tends to affect men more than women, although women also develop the disease. Parkinson disease sometimes runs in families. The disease can occur in younger adults. In such cases, it is often due to the person's genes. Parkinson disease is rare in children. No audio descriptionWith audio descriptionRelated video goes here for no-HTML5 browsersRelated video goes here for no-HTML5 browsers Symptoms Symptoms may be mild at first. For instance, you may have a mild tremor or a slight feeling that one leg is stiff and dragging. Jaw tremor has also been an early sign of Parkinson disease. Symptoms may affect one or both sides of the body.General symptoms may include:Problems with balance and walking Rigid or stiff muscles Muscle aches and pains Muscle achesMuscle aches and pains are common and can involve more than one muscle. Muscle pain also can involve ligaments, tendons, and fascia. Fascias are th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Low blood pressure when you stand up Stooped posture Constipation ConstipationConstipation is when you are passing stools less often than you normally do. Your stool may become hard and dry and difficult to pass. You might fe...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Sweating and not being able to control your body temperature Slow blinking Difficulty swallowing Drooling Slowed, quieter speech and monotone voice No expression in your face (like you are wearing a mask) Unable to write clearly or handwriting is very small (micrographia) Movement problems may include: Difficulty starting movement, such as starting to walk or getting out of a chair Difficulty continuing to move Slowed movements Loss of fine hand movements (writing may become small and difficult to read) Difficulty eating Symptoms of shaking (tremors):Usually occur when your limbs are not moving. This is called resting tremor. Occur when your arm or leg is held out. Go away when you move. May be worse when you are tired, excited, or stressed. Can cause you to rub your finger and thumb together without meaning to (called pill-rolling tremor). Eventually may occur in your head, lips, tongue, and feet. Other symptoms may include:Anxiety, stress, and tension Confusion ConfusionConfusion is the inability to think as clearly or quickly as you normally do. You may feel disoriented and have difficulty paying attention, remembe...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Dementia DementiaDementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Depression DepressionDepression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for shor...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Fainting Memory loss Exams and Tests Your health care provider may be able to diagnose Parkinson disease based on your symptoms and a physical exam. But the symptoms can be hard to pin down, particularly in older adults. Symptoms are easier to recognize as the illness gets worse.The examination may show:Difficulty starting or finishing a movement Jerky, stiff movements Muscle loss Muscle lossMuscle atrophy is the wasting (thinning) or loss of muscle tissue.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Shaking (tremors) Changes in your heart rate Normal muscle reflexesYour provider may do some tests to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. Treatment There is no cure for Parkinson disease, but treatment can help control your symptoms.MEDICINEYour provider will prescribe medicines to help control your shaking and movement symptoms. At certain times during the day, the medicine may wear off and symptoms can return. If this happens, your provider may need to change any of the following:Type of medicine Dose Amount of time between doses The way you take the medicine You may also need to take medicines to help with:Mood and thinking problems Pain relief Sleep problems Drooling (botulinum toxin is often used) Parkinson medicines can cause severe side effects, including:Confusion Seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations) HallucinationsHallucinations involve sensing things such as visions, sounds, or smells that seem real but are not. These things are created by the mind.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea Feeling lightheaded or fainting Behaviors that are hard to control, such as gambling DeliriumDeliriumDelirium is sudden severe confusion due to rapid changes in brain function that occur with physical or mental illness.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Tell your provider right away if you have these side effects. Never change or stop taking any medicines without talking with your provider. Stopping some medicines for Parkinson disease may lead to a severe reaction. Work with your provider to find a treatment plan that works for you.As the disease gets worse, symptoms such as stooped posture, frozen movements, and speech problems may not respond to the medicines.SURGERYSurgery may be an option for some people. Surgery does not cure Parkinson disease, but it may help ease symptoms. Types of surgery include:Deep brain stimulation -- This involves placing electric stimulators in areas of the brain that control movement. Deep brain stimulationDeep brain stimulation (DBS) uses a device called a neurostimulator to deliver electrical signals to the areas of the brain that control movement, pa...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Surgery to destroy brain tissue that causes Parkinson symptoms. Stem cell transplant and other procedures are being studied. LIFESTYLECertain lifestyle changes may help you cope with Parkinson disease:Lifestyle changesYour health care provider has told you that you have Parkinson disease. This disease affects the brain and leads to tremors, problems with walking, ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Stay healthy by eating nutritious foods and not smoking. Make changes in what you eat or drink if you have swallowing problems. Swallowing problemsDifficulty with swallowing is the feeling that food or liquid is stuck in the throat or at any point before the food enters the stomach. This proble...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Use speech therapy to help you adjust to changes in your swallowing and speech. Stay active as much as possible when you feel good. DO NOT overdo it when your energy is low. Rest as needed during the day and avoid stress. Use physical therapy and occupational therapy to help you stay independent and reduce the risk of falls. Place handrails throughout your house to help prevent falls. Place them in bathrooms and along stairways. Prevent fallsOlder adults and people with medical problems are at risk of falling or tripping. This can result in broken bones or more serious injuries. Use the ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article BathroomsOlder adults and people with medical problems are at risk of falling or tripping. This can result in broken bones or more serious injuries. The bat...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Use assistive devices, when needed, to make movement easier. These devices may include special eating utensils, wheelchairs, bed lifts, shower chairs, and walkers. Talk to a social worker or other counseling service to help you and your family cope with the disorder. These services can also help you get outside help, such as Meals on Wheels. Support Groups Parkinson disease support groups can help you cope with the changes caused by the disease. Sharing with others who have common experiences can help you feel less alone.Parkinson disease support groupsThe following organizations are good resources for information on Parkinson disease:American Parkinson Disease Association -- www. apdaparkinson. org...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Outlook (Prognosis) Medicines can help most people with Parkinson disease. How well medicines relieve symptoms and for how long they relieve symptoms can be different in each person. The disorder gets worse until a person is totally disabled, although in some people, this can take decades. Parkinson disease may lead to a decline in brain function and early death. Medicines may prolong function and independence. Possible Complications Parkinson disease may cause problems such as:Difficulty performing daily activities Difficulty swallowing or eating Disability (differs from person to person) Injuries from falls Pneumonia from breathing in saliva or from choking on food PneumoniaPneumonia is inflammation (swelling) and infection of the lungs or large airways. Aspiration pneumonia occurs when food or liquid is breathed into th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Side effects of medicines When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if:You have symptoms of Parkinson disease Symptoms get worse New symptoms occurIf you take medicines for Parkinson disease, tell your provider about any side effects, which may include:Changes in alertness, behavior, or mood Delusional behavior Dizziness Hallucinations Involuntary movements Loss of mental functions Nausea and vomiting Severe confusion or disorientationAlso contact your provider if the condition gets worse and home care is no longer possible.Open ReferencesReferencesArmstrong MJ, Okun MS. Diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson disease: a review. JAMA. 2020 Feb 11;323(6):548-560. PMID: 32044947 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32044947/.Fox SH, Katzenschlager R, Lim SY, et al; Movement Disorder Society Evidence-Based Medicine Committee. International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society evidence-based medicine review: update on treatments for the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2018;33(8):1248-1266. PMID: 29570866 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29570866/.Jankovic J. Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 96.Okun MS, Lang AE. Parkinsonism. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 381.Radder DLM, Sturkenboom IH, van Nimwegen M, et al. Physical therapy and occupational therapy in Parkinson's disease. Int J Neurosci. 2017;127(10):930-943. PMID: 28007002 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28007002/.AllVideoImagesTogSubstantia nigra and Parkinson disease - illustration Parkinson disease is a slowly progressive disorder that affects movement, muscle control, and balance. Part of the disease process develops as cells are destroyed in certain parts of the brain stem, particularly the crescent-shaped cell mass known as the substantia nigra. Nerve cells in the substantia nigra send out fibers to tissue located in both sides of the brain. There the cells release essential neurotransmitters that help control movement and coordination.Substantia nigra and Parkinson diseaseillustrationCentral nervous system and peripheral nervous system - illustration The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systemillustrationSubstantia nigra and Parkinson disease - illustration Parkinson disease is a slowly progressive disorder that affects movement, muscle control, and balance. Part of the disease process develops as cells are destroyed in certain parts of the brain stem, particularly the crescent-shaped cell mass known as the substantia nigra. Nerve cells in the substantia nigra send out fibers to tissue located in both sides of the brain. There the cells release essential neurotransmitters that help control movement and coordination.Substantia nigra and Parkinson diseaseillustrationCentral nervous system and peripheral nervous system - illustration The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system includes all peripheral nerves.Central nervous system and peripheral nervous systemillustrationA Closer Look Parkinson disease(In-Depth)Parkinson disease(Alt. Medicine)Related Information Walking abnormalities(Symptoms)Muscle cramps(Symptoms)Secondary parkinsonism(Condition)Catecholamine blood test(Medical Test)Dementia(Condition)Eating extra calories when sick - adults(Self-Care)Swallowing problems (Self-Care)Parkinson disease(In-Depth)Alzheimer disease(In-Depth) Review Date: 2/4/2020 Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 09/28/2021. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.