Condition: Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a condition that affects the nerves in the brain that help in co-ordinating muscle movements.

This presents as a slowing of movement, muscle stiffness, and shaking (tremor). As a result people with Parkinson’s disease may have difficultly performing daily activities.

1 in 350 UK adults is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease typically affect one side of the body in the early stages. These include:

  • Slow movement – this can include difficulty with fine movement or reduced facial expression;
  • Muscle stiffness;
  • Tremor at rest – typically improved on moving or with concentration.

Some other symptoms may develop as the condition worsens:

  • Bladder incontinence;
  • Hallucinations;
  • Poor sleep (insomnia);
  • Depression and anxiety.

Parkinson’s disease refers to the presence of movement symptoms secondary to the loss of dopamine-containing cells in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia. People may be affected by similar problems caused by different conditions.

The exact cause is unknown but up to 20% of people with Parkinson’s disease have a relative with the condition.

Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed from speaking to a patient to understand their symptoms in full and is usually made by a specialist doctor. There is no test to determine Parkinson’s disease, however sometimes a scan of the brain may be carried out to help with making a diagnosis.

Parkinson’s Disease Treatment

As Parkinson’s disease is caused by a reduction in dopamine-containing cells in the part of the brain called the basal ganglia, medications are used to try and increase dopamine signalling in the brain.

Three classes of medications are used in treating early stages of Parkinson’s disease – dopamine agonists (e.g. ropinirole, rotigotine), levodopa or monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitors (e.g. selegiline).

Other medications (e.g. entacapone) are commonly used to prevent the breakdown of levodopa by the body.

Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first line therapies have not achieved adequate benefit in improving movement problems in Parkinson’s disease.

Arrange an Appointment

If you are a patient or carer seeking an appointment to discuss treatment with medical cannabis, you can complete this form and we can assist you with this.

Eligible patients can provide us with their healthcare records or we can obtain these through your GP. This is to confirm that a patient’s condition has been fully assessed and all other treatment options have been attempted. We will ensure that the primary care provider receives all treatment communication to maintain the highest level of clinical governance.

We also accept referrals from healthcare professionals.

To refer a patient to us, please click here to fill and securely submit a referral form.