Parkinson’s disease in North Karnataka An epidemiological perspective

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive disorder of the brain. It occurs when certain neurons in substantia nigra die or become impaired. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by progressively increasing stiffness all over body, tremor in limbs with difficulty in walking. Parkinson’s disease usually starts at old age and slowly progresses over a period of time. A total of 557 patients belonging to both rural and urban areas of north Karnataka were interviewed with a structured questionnaire. All the patients were subjected to clinical examination and relevant laboratory investigations. Clinical and demographic data were presented as percentage distribution in the total subjects. The present study revealed that men were affected more than women. The occurrence of Parkinson disease is higher among subjects with no family history when compared the subjects with positive family history. Among the study subjects, approximately 90.8% of the patients were having tremors, followed by slowness in activities (32.7%) and dyskinesia (8.1%). As there is no definitive test for the diagnosis of PD, the disease must be diagnosed based tremor, bradykinesia and rigidity. Innovative community outreach programmes need to be designed and implemented for creating awareness, early screening and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.