Parkinson's disease is named for Dr. James Parkinson,
who in 1817 first described the features of this illness. Features of
Parkinson's disease include tremor, slow movement (bradykinesia), and rigid
muscles (rigidity). People with parkinsonism may have Parkinson's disease or
another illness with similar symptoms.
Other conditions and diseases that cause parkinsonism may also
cause symptoms that are not seen with Parkinson's disease. These conditions may
be treated differently than Parkinson's disease. Unlike Parkinson's, some
conditions that cause parkinsonism are reversible.
It may be helpful for people with Parkinson's disease and their
families to be familiar with some of the ways the disease is described. Experts
describe symptoms and stages of the disease differently.
Parkinson's disease sometimes is described as early, moderate, or
Parkinson's disease may also be described by five stages:
Medical professionals may refer to this scale when discussing the
disease and decisions about treatment.
December 3, 2010
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & G. Frederick Wooten, MD - Neurology
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