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Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition that affects people from all walks of life. It is generally described as a “movement disorder” – the four key symptoms are tremors, slowness of movement, muscle rigidity and instability.
However it doesn’t just affect movement; non-motor symptoms such as pain, depression, memory lapse and sleep disorders can also occur. People who suffer from Parkinson’s generally have difficulty controlling their movements and moving freely and tpically, symptoms do get worse over time.
It is quite a common disease, with approximately 80,000 Australians living with Parkinson’s. The average age of diagnosis is 65 years, however younger people can be diagnosed too.It is not an easy condition to diagnose however. There are no laboratory tests (such as a blood test or brain scan), so it is important that the diagnosis is made by a specialist, such as a neurologist. The specialist will examine for any physical signs of Parkinson’s and take a detailed history of symptoms.