Learning the facts about Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month is putting a spotlight on a neurological disorder affecting more than one million Americans and an estimated 7 to 10 million people worldwide.

Parkinson’s Disease (or PD) is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that gradually affects patients’ movements through tremors, stiffness or slowing of movement. PD impacts nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra impairing the cells’ ability to produce and deliver the neurotransmitter dopamine to other cells. In fact, by the time early Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed, it is estimated the person has lost 70 percent of the cells that produce dopamine.

Parkinson’s Patients Battle Sleep Disorders

We all know that adequate sleep plays an important role in our health and ability to function effectively each day. But what you may not know is that sleep problems such as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness and nightmares may be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease (PD), even before motor symptoms have begun (National Sleep Foundation).

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