Parkinson’s disease, its causes

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Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder. It affects the nervous system, and symptoms become worse over time.

Other movement disorders include cerebral palsy, ataxia, and Tourette syndrome. They happen when a change in the nervous system affects a person’s ability to move or stay still.

Read on to find out more about this condition, the early signs, and what causes it.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop gradually. They often start with a slight tremor in one hand and a feeling of stiffness in the body.

Over time, other symptoms develop, and some people will have dementia.

Most of the symptoms result from a fall in dopamine levels in the brain. One study, based in France, found in 2015 that men are 50 percent more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than women overall, but the risk for women appears to increase with age.

In most people, symptoms appear at the age of 60 years or over. However in 5–10 percent of cases they appear earlier. When Parkinson’s disease develops before the age of 50 years, this is called “early onset” Parkinson’s disease.

Early signs

Here are some early signs of Parkinson’s disease:

Movement: There may be a tremor in the hands.

Coordination: A reduced sense of coordination and balance can cause people to drop items they are holding. They may be more likely to fall.

Gait: The person’s posture may change, so that they lean forward slightly, as if they were hurrying. They may also develop a shuffling gait.

Facial expression: This can become fixed, due to changes in the nerves that control facial muscles.

Voice: There may be a tremor in the voice, or the person may speak more softly than before.

Handwriting: This may become more cramped and smaller.…