Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease.1 It is characterized by progressive loss of muscle control, due to loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. As symptoms worsen, it may become difficult to walk, talk, and do simple daily activities.
Still the causes of Parkinson’s remain unknown. Many experts think that the disease is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. PD in industrialised countries is generally estimated at 0,3% of the entire population and about 1% in people over 60 years of age but early-onset Parkinson's disease also occurs.1
The progression of Parkinson's disease and the degree of impairment vary from individual to individual. Many people with Parkinson's disease live long lives without major progression, whereas others become disabled much more quickly.
1 De Lau et al. Epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease. Lancet Neurol 2006; 5: 525–35