Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition which features both motor (movement) and non motor symptoms. The onset of Parkinson’s is very gradual and may predate the diagnosis by many years. Currently there is no laboratory or radiological investigation which can confirm the diagnosis of Parkinson’s so a review by a neurologist or a doctor specialising in Parkinson’s is recommended. The symptoms required for a diagnosis of probable Parkinson’s are:
- Tremor- usually a resting tremor which typically is one sided
- Rigidity of Muscles- this may cause discomfort and may be felt and described as ‘cog wheeling’. It may be seen as a slightly flexed elbow on the affected side or lead to a forward flexed posture.
- Bradykinesia – slowness of movement. This can lead to difficulty with daily life activities
- Postural Instability – while this often occurs later in the condition impaired balance can lead to changes in gait and falls.
In addition to these four classic symptoms all aspects of life can be affected and the most obvious may be reduced facial expression or lack of smiling, reduced volume of speech, smaller handwriting.While Parkinson’s is commonly associated with ageing it is important to remember that 1:7 of those diagnosed is under the age of 40. This is another reason why review by a Dr experienced in Parkinson’s is essential.The treatments available for Parkinson’s have improved over the 50 years since the discovery of levodopa however there is no known cure or treatment to halt the progression of the condition. This website aims to be a point of reference for those living with Parkinson’s and Information Sheets can be accessed to clarify any aspect of the condition and treatments available.
Parkinson’s Western Australia has produced the following brochures that deal with Medication and Parkinson’s