Parkinson’s disease is a condition which causes parts of the brain to become progressively damaged across a number of years.
Caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of our brains called the substantia nigra, Parkinson’s disease leads to a reduced amount of the chemical dopamine in the brain.
Because dopamine plays a pivotal role in regulating the movements our bodies make, the reduced dopamine levels are responsible for many symptoms of Parkinson’s disease which include tremors and stiff and/or involuntary movements.
The exact causes of the loss of nerve cells leading to Parkinson’s disease is unknown. But many experts think a combination of environmental factors and genetics is most likely.
Around 1 in 500 people are affected by the condition and it is most common in those who are aged 50 or over. Men have a slightly higher chance of developing the disease than women do.