It is one of the earliest and most commonly recognized disorders characterized by progressive slowness, stiffness and tremoulousness. It is an easily treatable disorder with almost near normal quality of life.
The Incidence of Parkinson’s disease is about 13/100,000 and prevalence is around 300/100,000 according to the published world literature. In India, the prevalence is said to be around 328/100000. However with increasing life expectancy, these numbers are constantly changing. The biggest concern of Parkinson’s disease is its impact on the quality of life. In newly diagnosed patients the most common concerns are related to Prognosis, Employment prospects, Driving, Risk of inheritance, Relationship issues, Neuro-psychiatric problems and Fear of treatment/side effects. However in the long term the concerns are quite different and are based upon the disease course.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are varied and are broadly classified into motor and non-motor symptoms. The motor symptoms include Slowness, Shaking (Tremors), Tightness (Rigidity), Falls/balance issues and speech /swallowing problems. The non-motor symptoms include Neuropsychiatric issues, Sleep disorders, Autonomic symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, Sensory symptoms and various other features.
Parkinson’s disease can be effectively managed with various drugs leading to almost the normal quality of life. Among the various movement disorders, Parkinson’s disease has the widest armamentarium of drugs and surgical therapies which helps a person to have normal quality of life. Most of the patients and care givers easily recognize the drug Levodopa and surgical therapy – Deep brain stimulation, which have dramatically changed the management of the disease and have almost become synonymous with Parkinson’s disease.