Parkinson´s disease (PD) is one of the most serious neurological diseases with more patients than multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis combined. PD is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by hypokinesia, tremor and muscular rigidity.
Parkinson’s Disease is growing rapidly
PD is generally age-specific affecting approximately 1% of the population over the age of 60, 1.6% of those over the age of 65 and 3% of those over 75. PD is growing rapidly with a growing population and an increasing share of elderly in the population.
The age of debut is usually between 55 and 60 years. The disease is characterized by rigidity, tremor and bradykinesia (poverty of motion) caused by a massive loss of nigrostriatal neurons and subsequently a lack of dopamine. Later, during the course of the disease, cognitive and behavioural problems may arise. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear upon a loss of approximately 80% of dopamine neurons.