What is Parkinson's?
Every hour, someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson's.
Parkinson's is a progressive
One person in every 500 has Parkinson's. That's about 127,000
people in the UK.
Most people who get Parkinson's are aged 50 or over but younger
people can get it too. One in 20 is under the age of 40.
People with Parkinson's don't have enough of a chemical called
dopamine because some nerve cells in their brain have died.
Without dopamine people can find that their movements become
slower so it takes longer to do things.
The loss of nerve cells in the brain causes the symptoms of Parkinson's to appear.
There's currently no cure for Parkinson's and we don't yet know
why people get the condition.
Parkinson's doesn't directly cause people to die, but symptoms
do get worse over time.
Everyone with Parkinson's has different symptoms.
The main symptoms of Parkinson's are tremor, rigidity and
slowness of movement.
As well as affecting movement, people with Parkinson's can find
that other issues, such as tiredness, pain, depression and
constipation, can have an impact on their day-to-day lives.
The symptoms someone has and how quickly the condition develops
will differ from one person to the next.
Our signs and symptoms of Parkinson's
section will tell you more.
The symptoms can be controlled using a combination of drugs, therapies and
As Parkinson's progresses, an increased amount of care and
support may be required, although many people maintain a good
quality of life with limited care or treatment.
We fund research into finding better
treatments and ways to improve the quality of life for people with
Parkinson's. As the UK's Parkinson's support and research charity
we're leading the work to find a cure.
Research is helping us understand Parkinson's better and better.
It's not easy to diagnose Parkinson's. There are no laboratory
tests so it's important that the diagnosis is made by a
The specialist will examine the person for any physical signs of
Parkinson's and take a detailed history of the symptoms they're
Find out more in our information sheet
on diagnosing Parkinson's.
There are guidelines for the diagnosis of Parkinson's which
health professionals should follow:
For more information about Parkinson's, see our publications about Parkinson's or browse the
In this section
Preparing for life with Parkinson's
Everyone's experience of Parkinson's is different. In our
Living with Parkinson's section there
is a lot of information and advice that can help people with
Parkinson's, their family, friends and carers.