As you may know, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive movement disorder where healthy neurons in the brain begin to malfunction and gradually die off. Neurons produce a chemical called dopamine, which is responsible for sending messages to the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination.
Learn more about clinical studies to see if
the SPARK study may be right for you.
A Closer Look At Signs and Symptoms
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, which, over time, leaves a person unable to control movement normally. Symptoms vary from person to person, but the main types of movement-related symptoms (motor signs) include:
There are a number of approved treatments to help manage these symptoms; however, these medications often become less effective over time, requiring higher/more frequent doses that can increasingly cause unwanted side effects. What’s more, none of these treatments are able to slow or delay disease progression. That’s why clinical researchers are seeking new ways to potentially treat Parkinson’s disease.
The Stages of Parkinson’s Disease
Symptoms are very mild; tremor and other movement symptoms occur on only one side of the body.
Tremor, stiffness, and other movement symptoms affect both sides of the body but do not impair balance.
Mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s disease; some instability in posture, although patients are still physically independent.
Severe disability, although patients are still able to walk or stand unassisted.
Patients are wheelchair-bound or bedridden unless assisted.