Parkinson's Disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Parkinson's Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Drug-Induced Parkinsonism
  • Paralysis Agitans
  • Parkinsonism
  • Postencephalitic Parkinsonism
  • Secondary Parkinsonism
  • Shaking Palsy
  • Symptomatic Parkinsonism

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Parkinson's disease is a slowly progressive neurologic condition characterized by involuntary trembling (tremor), muscular stiffness or inflexibility (rigidity), slowness of movement and difficulty carrying out voluntary movements. Degenerative changes occur in areas deep within the brain (substantia nigra and other pigmented regions of the brain), causing a decrease in dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which is a chemical that sends a signal in the brain. Parkinsonian symptoms can also develop secondary to hydrocephalus (a condition in which the head is enlarged and areas of the brain accumulate excessive fluids, resulting in an increase in pressure on the brain), head trauma, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), obstructions (infarcts) or tumors deep within the cerebral hemispheres and the upper brain stem (basal ganglia), or exposure to certain drugs and toxins. Parkinson's disease is slowly progressive and may not become incapacitating for many years.

Supporting Organizations

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

322 8th Ave, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
USA
Tel: (866)232-8484
Fax: (646)638-1546
Tel: (866)232-8484
Email: info@alzfdn.org
Website: http://www.alzfdn.org

Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation

551 Fifth Avenue
Suite 520
New York, NY 10176
Tel: (212)682-9900
Fax: (212)682-6156
Website: http://www.dystonia-parkinson.org

Child Neurology Foundation

201 Chicago Ave, #200
Minneapolis, MN 55415
USA
Tel: (952)641-6100
Fax: (952)881-6276
Tel: (877)263-5430
Email: jstone@childneurologyfoundation.org
Website: http://www.childneurologyfoundation.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Movement Disorder Society

555 E. Wells Street
Suite 1100
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823
Tel: (414)276-2145
Fax: (414)276-3349
Email: info@movementdisorders.org
Website: http://www.movementdisorders.org

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
Website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

National Parkinson Foundation, Inc.

1501 NW 9th Ave/Bob Hope Road
Miami, FL 33136-1494
Tel: (305)243-6666
Fax: (305)243-6073
Tel: (800)327-4545
Email: contact@parkinson.org
Website: http://www.parkinson.org

New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc.

811 East Wisconsin Ave
P.O. Box 510034
Milwaukee, WI 53203
USA
Tel: (414)299-0124
Fax: (414)347-1977
Email: horizons@new-horizons.org
Website: http://www.new-horizons.org

Northwest Parkinson's Foundation

400 Mercer Street
#401
Seattle, WA 98109
Tel: (206)748-9481
Tel: (877)980-7500
Email: info@nwpf.org
Website: http://www.nwpf.org

Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Inc.

1359 Broadway
Suite 1509
New York, NY 10018
Tel: (212)923-4700
Fax: (212)923-4778
Tel: (800)457-6676
Email: info@pdf.org
Website: http://www.pdf.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  12/27/1969
Copyright  2001 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.