Glossary

Parkinson's

Parkinson’s or, more precisely, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a slowly progressive disease damaging the nerve cells. It is named after the English doctor James Parkinson, who first described it. Parkinson’s is more common in older people, and it affects men more often than women. Difficulty walking, a tendency to fall, reduced memory performance, decreased movement, lack of facial expression, greater muscle tension and shaking at rest are all typical Parkinson’s symptoms. This is why the disease is also called “shaking palsy”. Other symptoms include general decline in ability, unsteadiness when standing or walking, and pain in the limbs. Parkinson’s symptoms are caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain, which results in a particular transmitter substance, dopamine, no longer being produced in sufficient amounts. Parkinson’s-like symptoms can also occur in other diseases such as brain tumors or as an adverse effect of certain medications.