Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological condition affecting about 100,000 people in Australia. The average age of onset is 65 and six out of seven people living with Parkinson’s are over the age of 40.
The cause of Parkinson’s is not understood. It is thought that a range of factors may be responsible for the condition. Hereditary Parkinson’s is very rare, although a number of gene mutations are thought to be implicated, along with environmental factors.
Parkinson’s disease usually progresses slowly, and symptoms can be controlled or reduced through a variety of medications and treatments.
Common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Symptom’s of Parkinson’s can be broadly categorized under non-motor symptoms and motor symptoms.
Tremor, which usually occurs at rest. It may begin in one hand, foot or leg and gradually extend to both sides of the body.
Bradykenesia (slowness of movement)
Loss of the sense of smell
Bowel and bladder issues
Fatigue, pain and cramping
Postural hypotension (drop in blood pressure on rising from a lying or sitting position)
Sweating and increased sensitivity to temperatures
Sleep disorders including REM sleep disorder (where a person acts out their dreams), intense or vivid dreams and excessive daytime sleepiness
It is important to be aware that not every person living with Parkinson’s will experience all of the above symptoms. Often the development of symptoms occurs over a long period of time.
MSWA supports people living with Parkinson’s.
Visit our Support and Services section to see how we can assist you.