What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that affects people from all walks of life. It is quite common, with approximately 80,000 Australians and 27,000 Victorians living with the condition.

The average age of diagnosis is 65 years; however younger people can be diagnosed with Parkinson’s too. 20% of people with Parkinson’s are of working age.

It is not easy to diagnose Parkinson’s. There are no laboratory tests (such as a blood test or brain scan), so it is important that the diagnosis is made by a specialist, such as a neurologist.

What causes Parkinson’s?

The underlying cause of Parkinson’s symptoms relates to a decline in the production of a brain chemical called dopamine. Many of the cells which produce dopamine are in the Basal Ganglia located in the middle of the brain. This lack of dopamine means people can have difficulty controlling their movements and moving freely.

Symptoms

Parkinson’s is categorised by clinicians as a “movement disorder.” However it doesn’t just affect movement. Non-motor symptoms such as pain, depression, problems with memory and sleep can also occur and have an impact on the day-to- day life of those living with Parkinson’s.

Progression of Parkinson’s

Symptoms of Parkinson’s develop slowly and gradually progress over time. Each person is affected differently and the rate of progression varies greatly between individuals.

Parkinson’s is not fatal and it is possible to live with the condition for many years, although symptoms may worsen over time.

Treatments

There is currently no known cure for Parkinson's. However, there are many treatments available that can allow a person with Parkinson’s to lead a fulfilling and productive life. Treatments can assist in managing symptoms and providing a high quality of life for many years to come.

Research

Developing a strong Australian research agenda is central to Parkinson’s Victoria’s mission. We are committed to supporting vital research that improves quality of life for people with the condition, and the search for a cure.

Have you visited our main website?

For information about Parkinson’s, Parkinson’s Victoria and other ways to get involved, please visit parkinsonsvic.org.au

For specific information on any of the below, please click the following links:

How can you help?

By supporting A Walk in the Park, you will help us to raise awareness and continue our work to raise funds for ground-breaking research into diagnosis, improved treatment and a cure for Parkinson’s.

Register for A Walk in the Park on Sunday 27th August or donate to Parkinson’s Victoria.

Every dollar raised helps support people living with Parkinson’s in Victoria.