Parkinson's disease is identified as a motor system disorder which is chronic (meaning it occurs over a long time) and progressive (gradually getting worse). It is not contagious, nor is it usually inherited.
In 1817, James Parkinson, a British physician first called the disease "the shaking palsy." In the early 1960s, researchers identified a primary brain defect: the loss of brain cells that produce a chemical (dopamine) that helps direct muscle activity. This discovery has led to many new treatments and therapies.
Home Medical Equipment for Parkinson's Disease Patients
As with many other progressive diseases, victims of Parkinson's disease may benefit from many medical devices and assistive technology. In the early stages of Parkinson's, ambulation aids, like a cane or a walker, and daily living devices such as eating utensils and dressing aids may be helpful. As the disease progresses, the need for mobility devices such as a wheelchair may become apparent. Eventually, a hospital bed, toileting aids and perhaps an environmental control unit may be helpful in substituting for progressive loss of muscle activity and functional ability.