At its simplest, it is a progressive* neurological disorder, which so far cannot be cured. It is variable in its progression, i.e. some people progress more slowly than others, and the symptoms can be effectively controlled with medication for many years. Parkinson’s results from a shortage of dopamine, a chemical that helps instructions from the brain to cross from one nerve cell to the next, in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra, which has to do with controlling movement. We all lose some of this chemical as we get older, and the loss starts at birth! However, it is only when we have lost about 80% of our dopamine we start to have symptoms. So people with Parkinson’s have lost this chemical at a slightly faster rate than others.
Parkinson’s does not react well to stressful situations so avoid stress as much as possible. Eat well balanced diets and exercise often to keep joints and muscles agile and flexed. Our association has teamed up with award winning chef Neven Maguire to produce a booklet on nutrition that is freely available through our helpline or can be requested by email or you can downlaod a copy by clicking HERE. Continue to live well and do not avoid social interactions. Some people are prescribed antioxidants by their neurologists or doctors on the basis that they may help slow down the progression of the disease. Drug management is critical to living well and it is important to take any drugs prescribed to you in the way that they have been prescribed.
*progressive = getting worse over time