Parkinson’s Disease

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition, resulting from the degeneration of dopamine-producing cells in the basal ganglia, deep in the lower region of the brain. Loss of these cells over time can cause difficulties with voluntary and semi-automatic motor skills and movement sequences, maintaining and switching the focus of attention, problem-solving and decision making. Common symptoms can include slowness of movement, rigidity and tremor.

Parkinson's Disease

How can we help?

At Access to Rehab we can provide a bespoke multi-professional approach to your rehabilitation. A variety of treatments and management strategies can be used for both the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Clinical guidelines suggest a multi-disciplinary approach is key in the management of Parkinson’s, Access to Rehab can provide this. Keeping you active through physical exercises such as the PD Warrior programme, becoming more independent in activities of daily living with functional advice or use of adaptive equipment can all be helpful.

Types of Parkinson’s disease

Idiopathic Parkinson’s

Most people with parkinsonism have idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, also known as Parkinson’s. Idiopathic means the cause is unknown.

The most common symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson’s are tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement.

Vascular Parkinson’s

Vascular parkinsonism (also known as arteriosclerotic parkinsonism) affects people with restricted blood supply to the brain. Sometimes people who have had a mild stroke may develop this form of parkinsonism. Common symptoms include problems with memory, sleep, mood and movement.

Drug Induced Parkinson’s

Some drugs can cause parkinsonism. Neuroleptic drugs (used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders), which block the action of the chemical dopamine in the brain, are thought to be the biggest cause of drug-induced parkinsonism.

The symptoms of drug-induced parkinsonism tend to stay the same – only in rare cases do they progress in the way that Parkinson’s symptoms do. Most will recover within days, weeks or months after stopping the drug that’s been causing it.

Other types of Parkinson’s

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

In the early stages MSA has very similar symptoms to Parkinson’s including stiffness and slowness of movement. However, other symptoms can also develop in the early stages which is more unusual in typical Parkinson’s, such as unsteadiness, bladder symptoms and dizziness.

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)

This too can have similar symptoms to Parkinson’s disease but it can also affect eye movements, balance, mobility, speech and swallowing difficulties.

More information about Parkinson’s and rarer forms of the condition can be found on the  Parkinson’s website: www.parkinsons.org.uk