Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological condition that affects movement. Its main symptoms are tremor, slowness of movement, and rigidity. It gets progressively worse over time and, although there are some treatments that can relieve the symptoms, there is no cure.
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition that affects movement.
It is caused by the loss of cells in the brain that produce dopamine, an important neurotransmitter (a chemical that carries signals between the neurons in the brain), which enables us to perform smooth, coordinated movements.
The three main symptoms of Parkinson's are tremor (shaking), slowness of movement, and rigidity (muscle stiffness).
It gets progressively worse over time, and although there are some treatments that can relieve the symptoms, there is no cure.
There are approximately 145,000 people in the UK with Parkinson’s disease.
It generally develops in people over the age of 50, although younger people can be diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s.
We are currently supporting two relevant programmes of research.
Professor Ludvic Zrinzo and colleagues at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London use Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in patients with Parkinson's disease and certain other neurological symptoms. Whilst DBS doesn't cure Parkinson's, it provides valuable relief from symptoms. Professor Zrinzo's team has helped more than 1,000 patients over the last 16 years. We are funding research to help them refine and optimise the procedure, improving safety and comfort. Read more.
Professor Antonella Spinazzola, also at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, was awarded a Brain Research UK Miriam Marks Fellowship in 2020 to support her research into the biology of Parkinson's, specifically the role of mitochondrial DNA metabolism, and the testing of new therapeutic approaches. Read more.
Brain Research UK is proud to support this work, which is leading to real improvements in patient outcomes.