Parkinson's disease (PD) is a brain condition that affects movement, causing symptoms such as shaking, stiffness, slow movements and poor balance. These symptoms gradually get worse over time and while medication can help manage these symptoms there is currently no cure for PD.
Around 8,000 people in Singapore are living with PD and this number is expected to increase with Singapore's ageing population.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is known as a movement disorder.
Symptoms vary between patients and at different stages of the disease. So it is important for people with PD to monitor changes in their condition and to tell their specialist if they have new symptoms or their symptoms are getting worse/harder to manage.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter - a chemical nerves need to send messages to muscles so they can move properly. It is not known what causes brain cells that produce dopamine to die.
The risk of developing PD increases with age and it usually occurs in people aged 60 years and above. However, it can affect younger people and this is known as Young Onset Parkinson's.
Genetic and environmental factors are possible causes of PD.
TreatmentTreatment for Parkinson's is tailored to the person's age, symptoms, stage of PD and other existing medical conditions.
PD can affect many aspects of a person's life so care is given via a multi-disciplinary team.
This can include:
Treatment usually involves medication and rehabilitation to manage and cope with symptoms.
In the advanced stages, Deep Brain Stimulation surgery may be considered. This involves placing a wire in the brain to stimulate it to help control symptoms.
Living with Parkinson's can be challenging for persons with the condition and their loved ones but help and support are available:
NNI Parkinson's Disease Support Group This group provides a safe environment for patients and caregivers living with Parkinson's to share their experiences. Participants are also updated on ways to manage the diesase and advances in research. For meeting dates, visit www.nni.com.sg/patient-care/patient-support-groups
Parkinson Society Singapore (PSS) The PSS conducts therapeutic programmes and activities to help patients and their caregivers on their journeyh with PD. These include exercise, dance, singing, art classes and other programmes for people living with Parkinson's. For more information visit
www.parkinson.org.sg or call 6353 5338.