Parkinson's disease is the second most common degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer's disease. Currently, it is estimated that approximately 100,000 Canadians, including 13,000 British Columbians, are living with the disease.
Parkinson's is caused by a loss of dopamine in the area of the brain called the substantia nigra. The cells that produce dopamine begin to die, reducing the amount of dopamine.
While there are many theories about why the cells die, the exact reasons are unknown at this time. The symptoms of Parkinson's appear when over half of the dopamine cells are lost. The progression of the disease and accompanying symptoms vary with each individual. There is currently no cure.
For more information about Parkinson's disease, please visit www.parkinson.bc.ca.