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Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects your movement. Young adults rarely experience Parkinson’s disease. It ordinarily begins in middle or late life, and the risk increases with age. People usually develop the disease around their sixties or older. Men are one-and-a-half times more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than women.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may vary from person to person. However, symptoms often begin on one side of your body and are usually related to movement. Well known symptoms of Parkinson’s disease related to movement include tremor (involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body, usually begins in a limb) which is worse at rest, rigidity (muscle stiffness of limbs and joints which limit the range of motion) and bradykinesia (physical movements become very slow).

Other symptoms unrelated to movement include depression, daytime sleepiness, difficulties in swallowing and speech problems.

Treatment used
Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, treatments are available to help reduce symptoms and maintain quality of life. These include supportive therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological counselling that help you cope with everyday life, or medication to control your symptoms. Surgical procedures such as deep brain stimulation may be used under the direction of doctors.

Antiparkinsonian drugs are medicines used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The majority of the registered antiparkinsonian drugs in Hong Kong are available in oral dosage forms e.g. tablets, capsules; while a few of them are presented in injectable forms and transdermal patches.