It's estimated that one in 100 people over the age of 60 is affected by Parkinson's disease in Australia – with one in five diagnosed before the age of 50.
This week from Sunday September 2 – Sunday September 9 marks Parkinson's Awareness Week, dedicated to informing communities on the disease and bringing attention to the condition.
Parkinson's disease is a "progressive, degenerative neurological condition" that affects the control of body movements. Notable people such as legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and Canadian actor Michael J. Fox are known to have the condition.
The disease is caused by insufficient quantities of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. This chemical allows for well-coordinated movements and quick responses, but as dopamine reduces these movements become slower and less coordinated.
There are no known causes for Parkinson's, where there are varying symptoms that include tremors, slowness of movement, lethargy, freezing and a stooped posture.
Parkinson's is a manageable condition, where there is medication and therapy on hand to help. You can also seek the advice of a doctor, neurologist or Parkinson's support group.
If you or a family member needs help in managing Parkinson's, a health insurance plan may be able to get you the appropriate care needed.
A private health insurance plan can aid in providing affordable care and treatment to assist in managing your medical conditions.