the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by dysfunction of dopaminergic neurons. People with Parkinson’s disease have a dopamine deficit in the brain which causes motor disturbances. Since dopaminergic neurons play a central role in movement, Parkinson’s disease is also called the disease of movement.

In France, 200,000 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease 1


Parkinson’s disease is named after the English physician James Parkinson who first described it in 1817, 200 years ago.

Akinesia, bradykinesia, hypertonia, tremors … What are the disorders of Parkinson’s disease?

Motor symptoms

  • Tremors at rest
  • Difficulty initiating movements: akinesia
  • Slowness: bradykinesia
  • Stiffness and blocking: hypertonia

Non-motor symptoms

  • Tired
  • Sleep disturbances, daytime sleepiness
  • Sexuality disorders
  • Pains
  • Digestive and urinary disorders
  • Dysautonomia (hypotension, tachycardia …)

What are the treatments for Parkinson’s disease?

Antiparkinsonian treatments correct motor disorders in the disease to improve the patient’s quality of life. Today, there is no cure that can cure Parkinson’s disease. The treatments available for Parkinson’s disease will regulate dopamine levels.

1st line treatment: drug treatments aim to compensate for the insufficient amount of dopamine

  • by mimicking the action of dopamine
  • by administering a substance that will be converted into dopamine
  • by giving a substance that blocks the breakdown of dopamine

2nd line processing:

  • Continuous Dopaminergic Stimulation: The apomorphine pump allows continuous subcutaneous administration of a dopamine agonist.
  • Deep Brain Stimulation: surgical treatment that involves implanting electrodes in the brain to produce dopaminergic stimulation.
  • Gastrostomy: a surgical procedure allowing the administration of an L-dopa gel via a probe placed directly in the small intestine at the level of the jejunum.

What are the stages of development of Parkinson’s disease?

The course of Parkinson’s disease varies from person to person. Warning signs may exist before the diagnosis of the disease is made (drop in concentration and / or performance, excessive fatigue, depression, micrography, etc.). The diagnosis is based on an examination with a neurologist.

  • There are generally 4 main stages of development in Parkinson’s disease:
  • The initial phase: appearance of the first symptoms
  • The therapeutic equilibrium phase: period when the effectiveness of the treatment is optimal “honeymoon”
  • The motor complications phase: alternation between ON and OFF phases
  • The advanced phase: preponderance of symptoms characteristic of Parkinson’s disease (axial signs, vegetative disorders, etc.).

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