Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease. The most common symptoms affect movement, resulting in tremors, stiffness, difficulty walking, loss of balance and rigid muscles. People can live with Parkinson’s for years, although currently there is no cure.
A significant percentage of individuals with Parkinson’s disease also develop dementia in later stages of the disease. The hallmark abnormality in Parkinson’s disease is Lewy bodies, deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein, in a specific brain region critical for control of movement. Lewy bodies also occur in different brain regions in other types of dementia, including Lewy body dementia and some cases of Alzheimer’s disease.
Last Updated: 03/26/15