What Is Parkinson's Disease

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What Is Parkinson's

Parkinson's disease
is a progressive
nervous system
disorder that affects
how the person
moves, including
how they speak and
write. Symptoms
develop gradually,
and may start off
with ever-so-slight
tremors in one hand.

People with Parkinson's
disease also experience
stiffness and find they
cannot carry out
movements as rapidly
as before - this is called
bradykinesia. The
muscles of a person
with Parkinson's
become weaker and the
individual may assume
an unusual posture.

Parkinson's disease
belongs to a group of
conditions called
movement disorders.
Movement disorders
describe a variety of

abnormal body
movements that have a
neurological basis, and
include such conditions
as cerebral palsy, ataxia,
and Tourette syndrome.

Approximately one
million adults in the
USA are thought to
live with Parkinson's
disease; over 60,000
are diagnosed
annually. The real
figure is probably
much higher when
taking into account
those who go

According to the Parkinson's Disease
Foundation, the economic toll of the
disease in the USA is nearly $25
billion annually, including direct and
indirect costs. The average annual
medication costs for an American
with Parkinson's disease is between
$2,500 and $10,000.

In the United
127,000 people have
Parkinson's disease -

or 1 in every 500
people. About 10
million people around
the world are
estimated to be living
with Parkinson's

A male has a
50% higher
risk of
disease than a