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Parkinson Disease Published: ()
What is it?
Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder. It results from the progressive loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that carries signals between nerves in the brain and controls the body’s movements.
Decreasing amounts of dopamine to the brain can lead to the four main motor symptoms of Parkinson disease:
- Muscle stiffness
- Slow movement
- Difficulty with balance and posture
Individuals living with this disease may also experience various non-motor symptoms. [Parkinson Canada, 2022]
In collaboration with all Canadian provinces and territories, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) collects, analyzes and shares data on diagnosed parkinsonism, including Parkinson disease, through the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System (CCDSS). This information aids the planning and evaluation of health policies, programs and services.
Who is affected?
The number of Canadians aged 40 years and older living with diagnosed parkinsonism, including Parkinson disease, in 2016–2017. [CCDSS, 2021]
Adjusting for age, parkinsonism, including Parkinson disease, is over 1.5 times more common in men than in women. [CCDSS, 2021]
The number of Canadians aged 40 years and older newly diagnosed with parkinsonism, including Parkinson disease, in 2016–2017. [CCDSS, 2021]
What are the health impacts?
Almost a quarter of Canadians with Parkinson disease also report living with a mood disorder. [Mapping Connections, 2014]
Approximately 43% of Canadians aged less than 65 years living with Parkinson disease are permanently unable to work. [Mapping Connections, 2014]
About half of all Canadians living with Parkinson disease report mobility limitations. [Mapping Connections, 2014]
There is currently no cure for Parkinson disease, but treatments are available to help mitigate its symptoms and health impacts. For more information on treatments and therapies, talk to a health care provider.
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