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Parkinson's Disease Fast Facts


  • PD affects approximately 127,000 people in the UK which equates to 1 in 500 people living with the disease1
  • PD is more prevalent in people over 50 years of age but 1 in 20 people with PD are under the age of 401
  • PD is the second most common neurological disorder in the UK2
  • The annual incidence of PD each year is 4 to 20 per 100,000 individual3
  • The risks of developing PD increase with age; figures estimate that 2 in 100 people over the age of 80 develop some signs of the disease3

Burden of disease

  • The most common motor symptoms of PD are tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and postural instability4
  • Symptoms are divided into 2 main categories: motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms1
  • As PD develops it can lead to impaired cognitive function. It is estimated that 30% of PD patients also go on to develop senile dementia3
  • Disease progression can also lead to increased depressive symptomology with research suggesting that 20-45% of people living with PD develop depression5
  • PD imposes significant direct costs on public services in the UK:6
  • Each of the UKs 25,000 General Practitioners has approximately four PD patients in their care
  • 38% of National Health Service costs and 34% of social services costs are PD related

Treatment for PD
Treatments which help to alleviate the symptoms of PD include:4

  • Levodopa – which increases dopamine in the brain
  • Dopamine agonists – these agents mimic dopamine and include rotigotine, apomorphine, bromocriptine, pramipexole and ropinirole
  • MAO-B and COMT inhibitors – these agents inhibit dopamine breakdown and include selegiline, entacapone and tolcapone


1. Parkinson’s UK (accessed June 2012)

2. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Website (accessed June 2012)

3. (accessed June 2012)

4. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (accessed June 2012)

5. Rickards H. J. Depression in neurological disorders: Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Stroke. Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2005;76(Suppl I):i48–i52.

6. Findley et al. Direct Economic Impact of Parkinson’s Disease: A Research Survey in the United Kingdom. Movement Disorders 2003;18:1139–118.

Aug 2012 - UK/12NE0077a