Neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death worldwide1. From 1990 to 2015, the number of people living with Parkinson’s disease saw the greatest increase, with the number more than doubling1.
Parkinson’s is associated with the progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in the brain4. Other parts of the brain may also be affected, as well as other neuron systems (cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, ...). This also explains the variable presentation of this disorder as it progresses2.
The exact aetiology of Parkinson’s disease is uncertain. It is probably caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as exposure to pesticides. As far as genetic factors are concerned, 15% of all people with Parkinson’s have a family history of the condition2.