Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative condition of the brain that affects 10 million people worldwide. In Australia, someone is diagnosed with it every 40 minutes!
It targets a particular part of the brain that produces dopamine and degeneration of this area affects the brains ability to control muscles. This causes the typical movement related effects of Parkinson’s such as shaking or tremors, stiffness, slow movement and difficulty with balance.
Symptoms usually develop slowly over a period of years, and often presents somewhat differently in each person because the disease is quite diverse. Each individual with Parkinson’s will have a different combination of symptoms, progression rate and intensity.
Parkinson’s is typically categorised as a ‘movement’ disorder by clinicians but in reality, it affects much more than just movement. It can affect a person’s emotions, memory, thinking, pain, sensory perception and gastrointestinal system. This means it has a huge impact on the day to day life of a person living with Parkinson’s disease.
Exercise provides many benefits to people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It can improve nerve and physical function, help people socialise more easily and reduce anxiety and depression.