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About Parkinson’s Disease

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic neurological condition named after Dr. James Parkinson, the London physician who described it in 1817. Parkinson’s is a type of movement disorder. It happens when nerve cells (neurons) in the brain don’t produce enough of a brain chemical called dopamine, a chemical that’s vital to movement.


Who has Parkinson’s?

As many as 1.5 million Americans. That’s more than multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis combined. Most people develop PD after they turn 60. In fact, 1 out of 100 people over 60 are affected by it.

Thanks in part to strides in public health, PD patients are now living well into their eighties. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, we can expect to see many more people living with PD.