Parkinson's Disease

What Is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) occurs when brain cells that make dopamine, a chemical that coordinates movement, stop working or die. Because PD can cause tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems, it is called a “movement disorder.” But cognitive function, constipation, depression, sleep disturbance and other non-movement symptoms also can be part of Parkinson’s. PD is a lifelong and progressive disease, which means that symptoms slowly worsen over time.

Estimates suggest that Parkinson’s Disease affects nearly 1 million people in the United States 
and more than 6 million people worldwide.

The experience of living with Parkinson's over the course of a lifetime is unique to each person. As symptoms and progression vary from person to person, neither you nor your doctor can predict which symptoms you will get, when you will get them or how severe they will be. Even though broad paths of similarity are observed among individuals with PD as the disease progresses, there is no guarantee you will experience what you see in others.
(The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research)


Life with Parkinson's Disease

Listen to Freddie and Colbern Thomas (Father & Son) share their personal experiences of living with and caring for someone with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Colbern is a medical student at LSU Health Shreveport's School of Medicine.

One of the problems is that PD can be underdiagnosed because people don't realize they are experiencing PD symptoms. Diagnosis is key to receiving the best treatment. 


Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease to look out for:

► TREMOR - Shaking usually in hands, feet or head


► RIGIDITY - Muscle Cramping and Stiffness



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At the Center for Brain Health, we are working diligently to assist individuals, families and local physicians in diagnosing Parkinson's Disease in the early stages.

Contact us today to learn more about the free services we provide. Call The Bridge at (318) 656-4800.

Opportunities to Volunteer for Research


Working to improve the lives of people fighting Parkinson's disease until we find a cure.

Support Our Research

Photo of Center of Brain Health team viewing screens of brain for evaluation

In the Center for Brain Health, one of our goals is to identify a brain imaging biomarker of disease severity that is applicable to a diverse sample of people with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Existing studies suggest that there are racial differences in the incidence and progression of PD. 

If you are interested in supporting this research through funding, please contact us.
Call: (318) 675-4800 (The Bridge, a community resource center associated with the CBH)