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In this section, you or a loved one can find out more about Parkinson’s disease, as well as links to other information. Being informed is an important first step towards becoming an active decision-maker in your care plan.
Our ability to move is controlled by nerve cells in the brain. The nerve cells communicate with each other and to the rest of the body using chemicals called neurotransmitters. In healthy people, these messages are transmitted well but, in people with Parkinson’s, the messages are disrupted.
One of the neurotransmitters involved in the control of movement is called dopamine. In people with Parkinson’s disease, the brain cells that make dopamine are damaged and dopamine production is reduced. As the level of dopamine decreases, slowness of movement and stiffness appear.
Parkinson’s symptoms usually begin on one side of the body but eventually affect the whole body as the disease progresses. Abnormal changes in neurotransmitters other than dopamine are seen in Parkinson’s disease and may be responsible for some of the non-motor symptoms that are linked to the disease.
Please note that the information on this website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from a healthcare professional. Speak to a healthcare professional if you have any questions about your health, medical condition, symptoms or treatment options.