Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects your movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting as a tremor but may show as stiffness or slowness of movement.
It is often referred to as ‘Parkinson’s Disease’ but it is not contagious and you cannot pass it from one person to another.
Parkinson’s is caused by insufficient quantities of dopamine, which is a chemical in the brain that allows smooth co-ordinated function of the body’s muscles and movement.
Parkinson’s often takes many years to develop and has little effect on life expectancy.
About 1 in 500 people have Parkinson’s; the average age of diagnosis is 59 and it is believed that 1% of people over the age of 60 have the condition. As the population of New Zealand ages, more and more people are being diagnosed, making our work even more valuable.
We run Support Groups, morning teas and exercise classes, as well as Spouse Support Groups, all to help improve the lives of those affected by Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s New Zealand is a reliable starter source of information about Parkinson’s.
For more in-depth information, check out the Parkinsons page on Health Navigator NZ.
We also keep our Facebook page up-to-date with the latest developments and events.
If you live in Canterbury and have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, or know someone who has and want to find out how you can support them, contact our Specialist Nurse on (03) 366-2857 ext. 6 for Elspeth or ext. 7 for Deb