Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO I KNOW I HAVE PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
Parkinson's disease can affect anyone - male or female and at any age, although it is more common in older age.
WHAT WILL MY DOCTOR DO IF PARKINSON'S IS SUSPECTED?
WHAT CAUSES PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
We understand that the cells in a particular part of the brain die off, causing a reduction in the level of the neurotransmitter (brain messenger chemical) dopamine. This particularly affects movement and coordination but most systems in the body can be impacted. There are several theories on what causes Parkinson's; however, at this time we do not have a clear picture of what triggers this dying off process and why some people are affected and others are not.
IS PARKINSON'S DISEASE HEREDITARY?
The short answer is no, although in a very small number of cases it appears that Parkinson's can be hereditary and they will have a number of direct (blood related) relatives who are also affected. You should not worry about having passed the disease on to your children. There are some genetic mutation that increase the risk of getting Parkinson's but most people with these mutations will not actually get Parkinson's.
IS THERE A CURE FOR PARKINSON'S?
I TAKE MY PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS, WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
It is important to stay as active as possible. Don't give up on daily activities and incorporate regular exercise into your life. We know that exercise can help people manage their symptoms and it is possible that it may slow the progression of the condition. It is also important to maintain your social life and keep active in your community.
WHERE CAN I GET HELP?
HOW CAN I HELP SOMEONE WITH PARKINSON'S?
You may need some support if you are living with or caring for someone with Parkinson's disease. Depending on your circumstances, the stage of their disease and their ability to function independently, you may just need information to help you understand the disease. Later, there may be a need for advice and practical support with the physical demands of caring for someone with a progressively disabling disease. Consider also your own personal needs and seek counselling if necessary.