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Parkinson's Disease (PD)

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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a central nervous system disorder affecting movement. While complications caused by Parkinson’s may be fatal, people with the disease find many treatment options at Florida Hospital. Because Parkinson’s closely resembles other neurological disorders, doctors and healthcare professionals at our hospitals combine expertise to assure the accurate diagnosis so critical to effective treatment. These caring specialists are authorities in the latest drug treatments, surgical interventions and supportive care procedures shown to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s, help cope with emotional stress and maintain quality of life.

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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common form of a group of movement disorders with similar qualities known as parkinsonism. It is named for James Parkinson, a 19th Century British doctor who first described what called the shaking palsy. Parkinson’s is a slowly progressing, degenerative disorder that damages nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine to control movement. More than 1 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s, with another 60,000 being diagnosed each year. The disease affects more people than Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis together.

The main characteristics of Parkinson’s include: tremors or shaking of the hands, arms, legs or head; rigidity of limbs and torso; problems with balance, coordination and posture; and slow movement (Bradykinesia). Left untreated, the disorder eventually leads to complete disability, deterioration of brain function and death. Fortunately, doctors can employ a number of therapies that dramatically relieve symptoms for most people.

The disease affects about twice as many men as women, usually beginning about age 60. Some cases involve early onset PD occurring before 50 years old, and a rare form called juvenile parkinsonism appears before age 20.

Locations for Parkinson's Disease (PD)