about PD

PD, SYMPTOMS AND DAILY ROUTINE

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive brain disorder that is mainly characterized by unintended or uncontrollable movements. Tremors, stiffness, bradykinesia and difficulties with balance and coordination are some of the typical symptoms of PD. Non-motor symptoms also occur, including sleep-disorders, neuropsychiatric dysfunction, dementia, constipation, excessive sweating, among others. Every individual experience a distinct combination of symptoms, making the disease unique to each one. Consequently daily routine is also impacted differently among patients. Regardless of which set of symptoms the patient has, most face challenges by doing activities that were once easy, such as dressing, sleeping, or walking. Although PD is not curable, available medications can significantly improve symptoms and new treatments are being explored by many research groups worldwide, ours being one of them.

WHAT CAUSES PD?

Movement is achieved by interactions between nerve cells. There is a group of neurons, the dopaminergic neurons, that play an important role in movement control. These neurons are found in the ‘substantia nigra’, a specific part of the brain. They communicate with other neurons by releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is in turn, responsible for fine tuning movement. In PD, neurons from the substantia nigra slowly degenerate, decreasing levels of dopamine. With low levels of dopamine, movement control is impaired and the typical PD symptoms emerge, such as resting tremor, rigidity, among others.

PD IN NUMBERS

population over
65 years affected

of which…

has genetic
cause

 unknown
etiology

SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACT

Parkinson’s disease has a devastating socioeconomic impact. Demographic studies show that patient numbers will continue to grow, effectively doubling by 2040. Failure to make any significant impact to halt or delay disease progression means that PD is a major challenge to health care and society.

PD PATIENTS ONLY IN EUROPE 

eur/year (costs)
en_GBEnglish (UK)