Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease of the brain, a movement disorder. PD affects an area of the brain that produces an important chemical messenger called dopamine. Dopamine sends messages to the areas of the brain that control and co-ordinate movement. In PD the cells that create dopamine slowly die off thereby progressively impairing the body’s ability to move. Overtime, as increasing numbers of nerve cells die, symptoms become more extreme.
Common motor symptoms can include:
- Joint Stiffness
- Bradykinesia ( abnormal slowness of movement)
- Postural instability
Other non-motor symptoms can include:
- Digestive problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Cognitive impairment/dementia
While much progress has been made in the treatment of Parkinson’s, currently there is no known cure. Drug treatment, surgical interventions, therapeutic and recreational options are available to help mitigate the symptoms and health impacts associated with Parkinson’s.
Key Facts About Parkinson's Disease
Over 100,000 Canadians have Parkinson’s disease.
Each day more than 25 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in Canada. That is 10,000 people every year.
By 2031; 50+ Canadians per day will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
In Ontario today 40,000 people are living with Parkinson’s Disease (37% live in Halton/Peel).
Parkinson’s direct healthcare costs are up to 40 times greater to those for Canadians with no neurological conditions.
People living with Parkinson’s have high annual out-of-pocket expenses, second only to those with spinal cord injuries
Cognitive symptoms are common in Parkinson’s; more than 6% experience memory limitations, anxiety and depression.
Because of medication limitations, exercise is one of the most powerful treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. It can slow the progression, improve motor skills and cognition, and help avoid isolation associated with the disease.
85% of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s are over the age of 65. Young-onset Parkinson’s disease is a diagnosis before the age of 50.
Caregivers stress doubles when caring for an individual living with a neurological condition such as Parkinson’s and multiplies if accompanied by cognitive impairment.
For people with Parkinson’s, time spent in residential care is up to 75 times higher than those without a neurological condition.
Individuals with a neurological condition like Parkinson’s may lose a total of 15 healthy years and die prematurely.