We hope to see you again soon!

You are now leaving Lundbeck UK's website (www.lundbeck.com/uk) for an external website. External links are provided as a resource to the viewer. Lundbeck UK are not responsible for the external website and its content.

UK-NOTPR-1010 | April 2022



Parkinson's Disease

Understanding Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition characterised by a gradual loss of neurons that normally produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, leading to problems with movement control and non-movement-related symptoms.1

Parkinson's disease overview

Parkinson’s disease is a long-term and progressive brain disease that most commonly affects those over the age of 50.1 People with Parkinson’s disease have difficulty controlling their body movements, and symptoms become worse as the condition progresses.1 Ultimately, Parkinson’s disease can impair the individual’s ability to function in daily life situations.2


The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from a loss of neurons in the brain that affect movement control, as well as other areas, such as mood, sleep and thought.3,4 The exact cause of the neuron loss is still unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental and ageing factors.3

Facts about Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s disease is one of Lundbeck’s focus disease areas. It’s a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterised by the presence of predominantly motor symptoms; resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia (slowness of movement) and postural instability.5 It is also associated with a variety of non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms are caused by the degeneration of dopamine-producing cells in the brain.3

An estimated 145,000 people in the UK were living with Parkinson’s disease in 2020.6 With the growth in population and ageing, it is estimated that this number will grow to 172,000 by 2030.6


Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder and over time, symptoms can slowly become more severe.1 However, in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease the symptoms are usually mild.4


Parkinson’s disease does not directly cause people to die but the condition can put a huge strain on the body which can potentially lead to other co-morbidities.1


Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be categorised into motor and non-motor symptoms:5



  • Motor symptoms - The classic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease – so-called ‘motor’ (movement-related) symptoms – include tremor, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness.4


  • Non-motor symptoms - These can range from balance problems, loss of sense of smell, nerve pain, constipation, erectile dysfunction, dizziness and cognitive issues such as memory difficulties, depression and anxiety and cases of dementia.4


It’s important to remember that the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and their severity is different for each individual and not everyone will have the same experience.4

8.5 million

patients worldwide in 2017 were estimated to be affected by Parkinson’s disease.7

1 in 500

people are thought to have Parkinson’s disease.1

Epidemiology and burden

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurological (nerve cell) disorders.5,6 It affected approximately 8.56 million men and women worldwide in 2017.7 The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in the UK is likely to increase by a fifth, to around 172,000 people by 2030.6


Parkinson’s disease usually develops in people over 50, although an estimated 1 in 20 people with the condition first experience symptoms under the age of 40.1 Men are slightly more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than women.1

Facts about Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s disease usually develops in people in their 50’s.1

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neuro-degenerative disorder.5

Diagnosis and care

Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed using medical history, symptoms and a detailed physical examination and a positive response to treatment; there is currently no test that can conclusively show a person has Parkinson’s disease.8


At present, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but treatments to help reduce symptoms are available to try and maintain quality of life for as long as possible.1


Treatment  for Parkinson’s disease normally involves supportive therapies such as physiotherapy, medication and, in some cases, surgery.9 Some people may find that treatment isn’t needed during early stages of Parkinson’s disease when symptoms can be mild.9


In addition to this, it’s important to stay as physically and mentally healthy as possible. Regular exercise and following a healthy balanced diet, having access to emotional support and complementary therapy and maintaining strong relationships all play important roles.2


  1. Parkinson’s Disease - Overview: NHS Guide. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/ [Accessed March 2022]
  2. Living With Parkinson’s Disease: NHS Guide. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/living-with/ [Accessed March 2022]
  3. Parkinson’s Disease - Causes: NHS Guide. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/causes/ [Accessed March 2022]
  4. Parkinson’s Disease - Symptoms: NHS Guide. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms/ [Accessed March 2022]
  5. Weintraub D, Comella CL, Horn S. Am J Manag Care. 2008; 14(2 Suppl):S40-8
  6. Reporting on Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s UK. https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/about-us/reporting-parkinsons-information-journalists [Accessed March 2022]
  7. Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet 2018;392:1789-1858
  8. Parkinson’s Disease – Diagnosis: NHS Guide. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/diagnosis/ [Accessed March 2022]

More from lundbeck

This is Lundbeck

A specialist pharmaceutical company focused exclusively on brain diseases. 

Restoring Brain Health

What brain health means to us at Lundbeck.

Our Commitment

We strive for Progress in Mind - our multifaceted approach to patients.

UK-NOTPR-1557 | July 2023