Interested in learning about Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second-most common neurodegenerative disorder, after Alzheimer’s Disease. PD is a chronic, progressive, neurodegenerative condition that mainly affects elderly people. The clinical effects of Parkinson’s Disease are visually obvious, but the underlying pathology of PD is still not fully understood.
Get an introduction to Parkinson’s disease or dive into details on the subject by going through our slide decks.
In each slide deck, you will encounter a topic introduction and delve into essential concepts related to Parkinson’s disease. Our slide decks encompass a variety of subjects, including genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s disease, the challenges of managing non-motor symptoms, and motor complications such as dyskinesia and motor fluctuations.
The slides have been created by experts specializing in Parkinson’s disease. Whether you are a student, educator, or simply someone interested in learning more about Parkinson’s disease, the slides are freely available for your use in classes, teaching, or exams
History, Definitions, and Diagnosis
Parkinson’s disease is often diagnosed at the onset of motor symptoms. Yet, the diagnosis can be preceded by a long prodromal phase of 15 years or more. In this slide deck, the history of Parkinson’s disease is presented together with a description of the cardinal symptoms of the disease, diagnostic criteria, biomarkers and commonly used scales. Go to the slide deck.
Epidemiology and Burden
Parkinson’s disease is considered the second most common neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer’s disease. This presentation covers the prevalence of Parkinson’s Disease across different global regions and describes the substantial burden the disease places on the patient and caregivers. Go to the slide deck.
Course, Natural History, and Prognosis
Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressing disease. The underlying pathology is not fully understood but is thought to spread from brain region to brain region over multiple long-distance relays, during long periods of time. Go to the slide deck. Go to the slide deck.
Non-motor Symptom Complex and Comorbidities
Non-motor symptoms are reported by nearly all patients with Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms include e.g., constipation, sleep disorders, cognitive impairment, mood disorders, olfactory dysfunction among other. In this slide deck, non-motor symptoms, quality of life and the comorbidities of Parkinson’s disease are discussed. Go to the slide deck.
Neurobiology and Aetiology
At a physiological level, PD is characterised by the loss of neurons in specific regions of the brain and a spreading of Lewy pathology. In early phases of the disease, α‑synuclein deposition has been associated with the appearance of non-motor symptoms, such as olfactory (smell) and autonomic (vital) dysfunction. This slide deck covers the neurobiology and aetiology of Parkinson’s disease. Go to the slide deck.
Levodopa and dopamine agonists play a major role in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. Levodopa is the key symptomatic treatment for the disease. Over time, patients may experience wearing of, where the duration of treatment response becomes progressively shorter. This slide deck presents common treatment approaches. Go to the slide deck.
Nearly all patients with Parkinson’s disease experience non-motor symptoms at some stage of the disease. In this slide deck, quality of life and the comorbidities of PD are discussed. This includes insights into the prevalence of psychosis and neurogenic orthostatic hypotension in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Selected articles on Parkinson’s disease
Our selected articles will delve into these facets of Parkinson’s disease, offering insights into the diverse nature of non-motor symptoms, their impact on patients, and the potential for improved management.
Evidence has been accumulating over the past years for a bidirectional relationship between the brain and the gut that plays an important role in Parkinson’s disease. Recent research suggests that the gut microbiome plays a key part in this relationship and that the microbiome-gut-brain axis can influence pathophysiological mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s disease risk and progression.
Over recent years, the impact of non-motor symptoms has gained increased attention. These symptoms are common, heterogeneous, and sometimes severe and disabling, and their more effective management is a major unmet need. Non-motor symptoms are given greater recognition in the latest Movement Disorders Society diagnostic and research criteria.
After decades of focus on the motor impairments of Parkinson’s disease, the past years have shown a resurgence of interest in non-motor symptoms, including gastrointestinal dysfunction. It is now well recognised that gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly constipation, are amongst the most prominent and troublesome early manifestations of Parkinson’s disease. The fact that alpha-synuclein aggregations can be found in the gastrointestinal tract of patients with early or even prodromal Parkinson’s disease lends weight to the idea that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut, at least in some patients.
Download and use our images related to Parkinson’s disease
View an illustration of the bidirectional interplay between the brain and the gut, involving pathways such as the vagus nerve and bloodstream. Factors contributing to Parkinson’s disease development encompass aging-related processes, alpha-synuclein aggregation and spread, the gut bacterial microbiome and its metabolic activities, gut barrier integrity, inflammation, environmental influences, host genetic factors, and possibly chance effects. See a schematic illustration depicting how the gut-brain axis may contribute to the spread of alpha-synuclein pathology below.
Videos – learn about Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second most frequent neurodegenerative disorder of ageing after Alzheimer’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is characterized by 4 cardinal motor symptoms: tremor at rest; rigidity; bradykinesia; and postural instability. This progressive disorder is also associated with cognitive, behavioural, and autonomic impairments causing increased disability and contributing to a loss of independence.
How we move
In 2022, The Brain Prize was awarded for ground-breaking research on the cells and circuits underlying movement.
Professors Silvia Arber, Martyn Goulding and Ole Kiehn were awarded The Brian Prize in 2022 for their outstanding research on how we move. Their research have revolutionized our knowledge of the neurobiology underlying movement, with implications for understanding diseases where movement ability is affected.
Neurotorium and The Brain Prize partners on making educational resources on the winning topic available to all interested in learning more. You can read about the award-winning research on circuits for movement at The Brain Prize website.
3D brain atlas
Several areas of the brain are implicated in Parkinson’s disease:
- Substantia nigra is often associated with Parkinson’s disease. The loss of neuromelanin-pigmented, dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra makes substantia nigra appear pale in patient’s with Parkinson’s disease.
- α-Synuclein may spread via the vagus nerve.