Parkinson Disease: What Is It | National Neuroscience Institute
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Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders - What it is

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. A study in Singapore showed that Parkinson's disease occurs as commonly as in the West. Three out of every thousand individuals, aged 50 years and above, have this disease. As Singapore’s population continues to age, the number of people with Parkinson's disease and movement disorders, such as essential tremor, dystonia, chorea and myoclonus will rise. As with many other medical conditions, these diseases currently do not have a cure. However, there are effective treatments available to control symptoms and improve daily function. Minimally invasive surgery is also available to treat patients with advanced disease.

The Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders Programme emphasises the provision of comprehensive clinical services coupled with strong research initiatives. A multi-disciplinary team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurse clinicians, therapists and medical social workers, work together to provide the best care for our patients.

What is Parkinson's disease?

The symptoms of Parkinson's disease are caused by degeneration of a structure of the brain called the substantia nigra. This causes a lack of a neurotransmitter called dopamine.

parkinson’s disease and movement disorder conditions & treatments

What are movement disorders?

Movement disorders refer to a group of neurological conditions that result in disorders of normal body movements. This may refer to conditions that slow down body movements such as Parkinson's disease or conditions that are associated with abnormal or increased body movements. The disorders we often see in our movement disorders clinics include:


  • Red ability to coordinate voluntary movements that may result in problems with walking and balancing


  • Jerky, irregular, relatively rapid, involuntary movements that can affect the face or limbs.


  • Slow, twisting, involuntary movements associated with forceful muscle contractions or spasms. This may affect the eyes (Blepharospasm), muscles of the face, jaws, neck, upper limbs and/or lower limbs. At times these spasms occur on performing a specific task such as writing (Writer’s cramps)

Hemifacial spasms

  • Involuntary twitching or spasms that affect one half of the face, including the eye muscles, resulting in uncontrollable eye closure


  • Brief, involuntary, jerk-like twitching or contractions of muscles


  • Fine persistent quivering or rippling of muscles


  • Rhythmic, involuntary, to-and-fro shaking movements that often affect the arms, hands or head.


  • Repetitive, purposeless muscle movements (Motor tics) or vocalisations (Vocal tics) that arise from an irresistible urge that is temporarily relieved following the execution of the movement or vocalisation

These abnormal movements may arise from a variety of diseases and careful evaluation is necessary to determine the underlying cause.

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders - How to prevent?

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders - Causes and Risk Factors

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders - Diagnosis

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders - Preparing for surgery

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders - Post-surgery care

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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