About Parkinson's Disease
Symptoms vary between individuals, but the most common include:
- Tremor in a resting arm or leg
- Stiff or rigid muscles
- Slowness of movement
- Balance problems
- Difficulty walking
- Small handwriting
- Soft speaking voice
Parkinson's disease affects over 1.5 million Americans and although most cases occur in men and women over 60 years old, approximately 15 percent of people with Parkinson's are under 50 years old.
The disease results from the degeneration of brain cells essential for the control of movement. The causes of the disease are not completely understood but may involve genetic predisposition and/or exposure to environmental toxins.
Although there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, symptoms can be managed effectively with medications and, in some cases, surgery. Exercise, diet, holistic approaches, as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapies, also improve the overall quality of life of a Parkinson's patient.