Parkinson's Disease is a condition in which the brain stops producing enough neurotransmitter (the substance that sends messages between brain cells) which affects the way in which a person is able to perform usual everyday tasks. The cause of Parkinson's Disease is unknown, but some research has shown that long periods of exposure to pesticides, chemical toxins and head trauma seem to increase a person's chance of developing Parkinson's disease.

Unfortunately in most third world countries Parkinson's Disease is not diagnosed very often as there is no one specific test for the disease. Parkinson's Disease in most African countries is a disease of exclusion.

Parkinson's Disease is a degenerative disease, meaning the symptoms get worse as time progresses some of which include slowing down of movements, this happens in conjunction with rigid muscles and leads to "freezing". Altered posture is also one of the symptoms, where the person affected has difficulty maintaining balance and therefore has a different stance.

Speech and writing changes, happens when the disease is more advanced.

Currently the treatment for Parkinson's is tailored to each patient and which symptom is the most prominent.
The most commonly used medication used to treat Parkinson's disease is Methyldopa, This drug helps the brain cells send messages in the manner that they should.
One of the constants in treating Parkinson's disease is physical exercise. All Parkinson's sufferers are encouraged to have a form of exercise to help maintain/improve muscle tone and mobility.
Compiled by CHAMP Staff