Parkinson's disease: a multidisciplinary approach
Tariq Ayoub and Laura Ferrigan explain the value of an integrated approach to patient care
Parkinson's disease is an important cause of disability. Even though its incidence is relatively small (20 per 100 000 a year), it has a high prevalence (200-300 per 100 000 in the United Kingdom) and poses a sizeable burden.12 Chronic conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, are best managed by a multidisciplinary team.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive degenerative neurological disorder of the central nervous system that impairs motor function, speech, and cognition (box 1). In time its symptoms and signs become worse. This leads to progressive stages of impairment and subsequent degrees of disability. Parkinson's disease results primarily as a result of insufficient action or formation of dopamine in the substantia nigra, resulting in decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia. This lack of dopaminergic stimulation results in impaired motor cortex activation, which manifests clinically as the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (see box 1). Non-motor symptoms