Not sure exactly what Parkinsons Disease means for sufferers? Famous actor Michael J Fox has done a lot to raise the public profile of Parkinsons Disease since his own diagnosis with the illness, but for many it's still a mystery.
If you or someone you love suffers from the illness, educating yourself about Parkinsons Disease and its causes can completely improve your quality of life.
Once you understand what you're dealing with when you've got Parkinsons Disease, you're much better able to consider treatments, and also to learn how to alter your diet, so that you can feel your best for as long as possible. So what causes Parkinsons Disease? How can it be treated? And who is likely to contract it?
Parkinsons Disease is a progressive illness of the nervous system, where sufferers gradually lose control over their muscles. At present there is no cure, but medical advances are being made all the time that improve daily living. This illness is caused by the brain becoming unable to produce enough of the hormone dopamine. This hormone regulates cell communication, and when there's not enough of it, neurons fire out of control and it becomes very difficult to control body movements.
The illness mostly affects people who are fifty or older, although occasionally people younger than forty develop an early form of the illness. No one knows for certain what causes the brain to stop producing the Dopamine, but doctors and researchers think that it has to do with a combination of your genetics and your environment.
Sadly, sufferers have increasing difficulty controlling their movements as time goes on. However, while there is no cure, it's possible to slow down the disease's advancement, and control your symptoms. No two cases of the disease are the same, so some medications work better for some people than others.
Your doctor will increase your dose of medication as the illness gets worse. You can also have surgery, but this is usually only used if there is no other option. Your doctor will help you to learn about diet and exercise regimes that can help keep you feeling good for as long as possible.