Parkinson's Disease: Some Words You Need to Know

Antioxidant: a chemical that prevents damage to cells in your body

Bradykinesia: slowness of movement

Dopamine: a chemical substance (neurotransmitter) found in the brain that sends impulses from one nerve cell to another and regulates movement, balance, and walking; the substance that is lost in PD

Dopamine Agonist: drugs that imitate the effects of dopamine

Dyskinesia: the most common and disruptive side-effect of PD medications; an involuntary movement that can accompany peak doses of levodopa

Levodopa: the most effective anti-Parkinson drug which is changed into dopamine in the brain and usually combined with carbidopa as Sinemet

Neurologist: a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system (*In this book we often use the word doctor instead of neurologist)

Off Time: when people with Parkinson's have a decrease in their ability to move and have other symptoms that make it hard to get up from a chair, to speak, walk, or perform their usual activities (*can also be called “down” time); happens because the person's dose of levodopa has worn off too soon or has suddenly and unexpectedly stopped working.

Parkinsonian or Parkie: a person with Parkinson's disease

PD: short form for Parkinson's disease