The Hagerstown Parkinsonís Support Group
Hagerstown, MD and the Four-State Area

Parkinson's Disease Information
What is Parkinson's Disease?

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What is Parkinson's Disease







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What is Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative neurologic disease. Degenerative meaning "declining in quality;" thus, the disease increases in severity over time; neurologic refers to the nervous system. In simple terms, Parkinson's disease is a disease of the nervous system that gets worse over time.

Parkinson's disease is also a chronic, progressive neurologic disease. Chronic meaning "of long duration" and progressive meaning "proceeding in steps" or "advancing." Parkinson's disease does not go away and it gradually gets worse.

In Parkinson's disease, neurons (nerve cells) of the brain area known as the substantia nigra (Latin for "black substance") are primarily affected.

When neurons in the substantia nigra degenerate, the brain's ability to generate body movements is disrupted and this disruption produces signs and symptoms characteristic of Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Joseph Savitt's slide presentation to the Hagerstown Parkinson's Support Group on October 1, 2015.

Amanda Distefano, an Administrative specialist for the Washington County Health Department, made an excellent presentation on falls and how to prevent them, including the number of falls in Maryland that require urgent care and the cost of those falls.  She highlighted the main causes of falls.  Click here for a PowerPoint File of her slides.   Here is a PDF version.   Her contact information is:  240-313-3357 or amanda.distefano@maryland .gov

Ten Early Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (PDF)

Parkinson's disease is named after the English physician James Parkinson, who first described the illness. He was born in London, and in his early education studied Latin, Greek, natural philosophy and shorthand which he considered as proper basic tools for a physician. Early on he assisted and then took over the practice of his father in general medicine. His "Essay On The Shaking Palsy" published in 1817, gained him immortality in the annals of medicine.


Symptoms >

For more information, visit these sites:

University of Maryland Medical Center
Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health

Also see the listing of National Parkinson's Disease Organizations

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The Hagerstown Parkinson's Support Group  |  Group Facilitator: 240-625-2722  |