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Parkinson's Disease - Epidemiology

Idiopathic Parkinsonís disease is a chronic, progressively disabling disease that falls under the heading of akinetic-rigid syndromes. A clinical syndrome, Parkinson's disease is clinically evident by its triad of bradykinesia and hypokinesia, resting tremor, and increased tonicity of voluntary musculature and loss of postural reflexes. Parkinsonís disease is estimated to affect between 500,000 and 1.2 million individuals in the United States. Currently, approximately 50,000 new cases are reported annually. Of those newly diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, 15% are below the age of 50. Nationally, 1 in 100 individuals over the age of 60 has Parkinson's disease with only a slight male predominance. Based on annual direct and indirect costs to society of $25,000 per patient per year, the gross annual economic burden to society reaches as high as $25 billion per year. There is no cure for Parkinson's disease. Current treatment include anticholinergic and dopaminergic medications. If left untreated, Parkinson's disease progresses to frank deterioration of all brain functions and total disability. Consequently, these loss of functions may result in early death.

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