Recently I was AMAZED to receive a question from a long-time friend asking me if Parkinson’s Disease is contagious? He was serious. He wanted to know if being near me, having me sneeze or cough in his presence would expose him to PD.
NO, Parkinson’s Disease is NOT contagious!!
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological condition, a chronic neurological condition which occurs when the dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra section of our brain ceases to make dopamine. Dopamine is necessary chemical for our body to function properly. As the substantia nigra cells gradually stop making dopamine we will see some or all of the following symptoms increase:
1. Stiffness in muscles (rigidity)
2. Resting tremor on one side of the body (Example: may be in hand & arm but not in legs.)
3. General slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
4. Balance problems or changes in the gait of your walking
Parkinson’s Disease is not fatal, but it is progressive. The cause of PD is not known and there is no cure. There are therapies that help the PWP (Person with Parkinson’s Disease) manage the impact of the disease as well as drug therapies that allow the PWP to function. There is not a definitive laboratory test or brain test that can diagnose or foresee the disease. There are some families that have a higher incident of this disease; however, no definitive proof exists that indicates PD is hereditary.
There are many theories for why Parkinson’s Disease occurs in some people and not in others. However, there is still a lot of information to be learned about this disease and with the increase in our aging population we NEED to find a cure.
For more information about Parkinson’s Disease, please go to: