Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London


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Parkindson's disease is the most common nervous system disorders for the elderly. Approximately, one in every 500 people are living with Parkinson’s disease, which is around 127,000. People at the age of 50 tend to be the most common age group to have Parkinson’s disease, but it can also affect younger adults if there is a family history of the condition. Some research has found that Parkinson’s disease can be genetically inherited, but it can also affect people with no family history.

Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain, particularly those that monitor a chemical called dopamine, which controls movement. When the nerve cells break down and individuals are receiving very low levels of dopamine, this can make it difficult for the brain to send signals to muscles in the rest of the body, therefore affecting movement.

It is common for people to notice the symptoms a while before their medical diagnosis. These can often begin with aching and increasing stiffness, or a mild tremor. People can also experience fatigue and weakness.Other symptoms can be less obvious, for example bowel or bladder problems, difficulty sleeping, excessive sweating, anxiety and depression. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, it is hugely important to get an early diagnosis. This will enable you to receive the right treatment, and also private care and support in order to continue living independently in your own home.

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