Information About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative nervous system disorder that can affect individuals of all ages, but more commonly occurs later in life. It is caused by the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, which is responsible for sending signals to the portion of the brain that controls movement. As a result, patients with Parkinson’s have movement difficulties, and, because it is a progressive disease, these problems become worse over time. At onset, symptoms such as small tremors in the hands and slurred speech are typically mild. However, as the disease advances, patients may experience tremors, muscle stiffness, impaired balance and posture, slowed movements, and other symptoms.

Although it is a movement disorder, patients with Parkinson’s disease, especially those in more advanced stages, can develop other complications, including:

  • Emotional changes such as depression
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Sleep disorders
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Bladder problems
  • Pain in a specific area of the body or throughout the body

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, there are ways to treat the condition and the specific symptoms that a patient is exhibiting. At Tampa General Hospital, we offer cutting-edge treatment for Parkinson’s disease and various other movement disorders, and we have been named a high performing hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. We utilize advanced technologies, including intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (IMRI), and our physicians have extensive experience performing proven surgical procedures, such as deep brain stimulation, to improve our patients’ quality of life.