1. What causes Parkinson’s disease?
The brain produces important chemical substances called neurotransmitters, which are used to relay messages from one group of brain cells to another for the regulation of various motor and non-motor functions. Dopamine is one such neurotransmitter that is produced by cells in the deep structures of the brain known as the substantia nigra. People with Parkinson (PwP) have markedly reduced dopamine due to progressive brain-cell loss.
2. What is the rate of Parkinson’s disease among Singaporeans?
Local studies have shown that Parkinson’s disease occurs in three out of every 1,000 individuals aged 50 years and above.
This figure is expected to rise in view of our ageing population.
3. What are some common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include but are not limited to:
- Tremor (rhythmic shaking)
- Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
- Rigidity (stiffness)
- Postural instability (poor balance)
4. How does exercise help People with Parkinson (PwP)?
Adopting an active lifestyle and having regular exercise are essential in promoting and maintaining function of individuals. Inactivity reduces muscle strength and physical endurance, which in turn may lead to falls. Regular exercise is therefore essential to enable one to remain strong and flexible, and to maintain balance. Having a regular exercise routine also improves sleep and can help PwP in their daily physical activities.
The Parkinson Centre conducts weekly programmes to encourage PwP to stay active. Find out more from Centre Programmes.