Parkinson's Disease: What you should know.

Who comes to mind when you hear “Back to the Future” “Family Ties” or “Alex Keaton”? Depending on how young you are no one may come to mind but if those titles and name sound familiar to you then you probably thought of the actor Michael J. Fox. He suffers from a disease known as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Though not fatal the complications from Parkinson’s can be dangerous. These complications from Parkinson’s are the 14th cause of death in the United States. This prominent actor brought to light a disease that many are in the dark about. 

In laymen’s terms Parkinson’s is defined as “a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremors.” The symptoms are generally a slow progression over the years. Parkinson’s disease impacts people in different ways and with varying intensities. Not everyone will experience all the symptoms of PD. Therefore knowing the stage of Parkinson’s can help those with the disease cope with changes as they occur. People can experience the changes either very quickly or over 20 years or more. 

While the cause of Parkinson’s is unknown scientists believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors are contributing factors. There is no cure for Parkinson’s and the treatment varies. Parkinson’s is called a movement disorder because it affects the movement, including tremors slowness of movements or trouble walking. However non-movement symptoms such as trouble sleeping depression anxiety apathy hallucinations constipation loss of smell and speech problems are extremely common and more impacting than the movement symptoms that can be seen. Exercise physical therapy and complementary therapies often help. Prioritizing your mental health is also extremely important when it comes to PD. 

There is no single test or scan for Parkinson’s but there are three telltale symptoms that help doctors make a diagnosis: slowness of movement, tremor and rigidity. If experiencing changes like these then it is important to contact your doctor so that they can advise you on what to do next.

For more information email at or call 1-800-473-4636


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