Parkinson’s disease occurs when cells in your brain are damaged over time. Called a progressive neurological condition, symptoms occur due to a lack of a chemical called dopamine.
Lack of dopamine means you move slower and take longer to do everyday activities. General stiffness and tremors (involuntary shaking of parts of your body) can also occur. Some patients also experience muscle stiffness and difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease develop differently in every patient. In the first instance you should see your GP. Although there are no tests to confirm Parkinson’s disease, your GP may base your initial diagnosis on how you perform certain activities, your family history and your own symptoms.
You may be referred to a specialist consultant (a neurologist or specialist in general internal medicine) for further tests and treatment.
For more information on Parkinson’s disease including support for you or someone under your care visit the Parkinson’s UK website.