Understanding Parkinson's disease

More than 70,000 Australians are currently living with Parkinson’s disease, a brain condition that impacts both motor skills and many non-motor functions. People with Parkinson’s battle mobility issues and may also suffer from cognitive impairment, psychosis (hallucinations and delusions), anxiety, depression, constipation, and difficulties with sleep, smell, swallowing, speech, writing and vision.

Rates appear to be on the rise, with more than 32 new diagnoses every day. Although those with Parkinson’s disease are mainly elderly, there were nearly 2,400 people aged in their 30s and 40s in Australia estimated to be living with Parkinson’s in 2014.

It is the second most common neurodegenerative condition in Australia but one of the least understood. Although the condition is manageable, it simply gets worse over time. There’s no definitive test and no cure.

So, what do we know about it so far—and what is there still to learn?


Cover photo by JORGE LOPEZ on Unsplash