Billy Connolly says he can't use his left hand due to Parkinson's
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This is landmark news for a condition that – the charity Parkinson’s UK says – affects 145,000 people in the UK, who live with the condition.
The charity also predicts that “one in 37 people alive today in the UK will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime”.
It isn’t just in the UK where the number of Parkinson’s cases are growing.
Around the world, it is the fastest growing neurological condition.
Parkinson’s disease is named after James Parkinson.
In 1817, he wrote an essay on the “shaking palsy”.
Born, raised and dying in Shoreditch in East London, Parkinson was the first medical professional to write about the condition.
Sixty years later, the condition would become known as Parkinson’s disease by Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist.
Around 204 years later, we now know a lot more about the condition.
The NHS lists the three main symptoms of the condition as:
• Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body
• Slow movement
• Stiff and inflexible muscles.
While these are the three main symptoms of Parkinson’s, these are not the only symptoms.
A person with Parkinson’s may also experience depression and anxiety.
They may also experience balance problems, loss of sense of smell, problems sleeping and memory problems.
You should consult a GP if you are concerned that you have these symptoms.
From there, they will ask you questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and eventually you will receive a diagnosis.
With regard to what causes Parkinson’s, it is the loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain known as the substantia nigra.
As a result, there is a reduction in a chemical in the brain called dopamine.
This chemical regulates movement in the body.
Famous figures with Parkinson’s disease include Michael J Fox, Billy Connolly and Paul Sinha.
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