Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson's Centre
Parkinson’s refers to a group of slowly progressive neurological disorders characterized by a depletion of dopamine, a neurotransmitter required for normal body movement. There are many sub-types. Each individual has their own unique mix of motor and non-motor symptoms.
Symptoms may include: resting tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, balance impairment, stooped shuffle gait, handwriting and coordination deficits, speech and swallowing changes, anxiety and depression, changes in memory and thinking, and bowel and bladder dysfunction.
Prevalence: Today over 100,000 Canadians have Parkinson’s. It is estimated that at least 1% of the population over the age of 65 have Parkinson’s. We estimate that 1200 people in the Capital Regional District have Parkinson’s.
Age of Onset: Parkinson’s is generally diagnosed at age 55 or over, however 10% are diagnosed under the age of 40.
Causes: Most Parkinson’s is diagnosed as Parkinson’s Disease, which refers to a classic mix of symptoms and cause unknown. Other forms of Parkinson’s include atypical Parkinsonism (such as Multisystem Atrophy) which tends to have more complex features and those forms associated with specific causes, such as Vascular Parkinsonism or Drug-induced Parkinsonism.
Care of Parkinson's: Proactive lifestyle choices and a strong belief in one's ability to affect his/her destiny can have significant positive impact on the course of Parkinson's. Parkinson's is remarkably responsive to a good balance of regular exercise, a balanced diet and a fulfilling mix of activities and social connections. There are numerous risks for people to become isolated with this condition which is part of why The Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson's Centre's services are needed. Overcoming barriers to quality of life is very important both for those with the conditions and their loved ones.