Parkinson’s is a long-term progressive disorder of the nervous system and the second most common neurodegenerative condition. The disease is most commonly characterized by loss of muscle control, often starting with a small tremor in the hand and progressing to motor function deterioration.
For the one million Americans thought to have Parkinson’s, it is not possible to predict how quickly the disorder will progress. There are no simple tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Although there is no cure, treatment options, including medications and surgery, are available to maintain the highest quality of life for as long as possible. Several remarkable organizations and research programs are exploring ways to diagnose Parkinson’s earlier and develop treatments to slow the progression of the disease, but there is still a long way to go in providing patients with options that improve symptoms and halt disease progression.