04 May 2018

It's thought around 1 in 500 people are affected by Parkinson's disease in the UK and NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) want us to know the signs and symptoms to look out for this Parkinson's Awareness Week (9th April - 15th April 2018).

Parkinson's is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years causing three main symptoms, although not all of them at the same time:

  • involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
  • slow movement
  • stiff and inflexible muscles

It's a condition which at the moment there is no cure for, and it's not known why it develops in some people.

A person with Parkinson's disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms, including:

  • depression and anxiety
  • balance problems – this may increase the chance of a fall
  • loss of sense of smell (anosmia)
  • problems sleeping (insomnia)
  • memory problems

Dr Michael Ejuoneaste, Local GP and Governing Body Member at NHS St Helens CCG, said: "Most cases of Parkinson's disease start to develop on people when they're over fifty, although, for 1 in 20, symptoms can start to show when they're under forty.

"Make sure you're aware of the symptoms and know that for most people with Parkinson's, they don't have all three.

"If you are concerned, talk to your GP as soon as possible. Even though there is no cure, we can treat your symptoms with different types of therapy, medication or in some cases surgery."

A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease will mean long-term treatment to control symptoms.  But, everyone's experience of living with Parkinson's is different and there’s lots of help and support available.

You can find more information at NHS Choices https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease