Parkinson Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects motor and non-motor functions due to a lack of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine allows nerve impulses to travel smoothly from one cell to the other. When dopamine is reduced, the messages from the brain to the nerve cells aren't properly transmitted, resulting in the recognizable tremors, rigidity and slowness of movement in PD patients. The average age of diagnosis is 58, though PD also affects many people in their 40s, 30s and even 20s. Parkinson disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer's and currently affects thousands of Albertans. There is no known cause or cure. 


Treatment of Parkinson disease

Without a cure, management of symptoms becomes the focus of PD and it involves a team of healthcare professionals. The typical person with Parkinson may  have a family physician, neurologist or movement disorder specialist, pharmacist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, social worker/psychologist, speech and language pathologist, and dietician working with them.

There are many drug- and therapy-based treatments used to control symptoms of PD and slow their progression to improve an individual's quality of life. Surgery, including the implantation of a deep brain stimulator, can be helpful for some.


How Parkinson Association of Alberta can help

Parkinson Association of Alberta recognizes that every person is unique and so is the treatment of their PD. We offer a wide variety of support and resources to help navigate the healthcare system and management of Parkinson disease.


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