Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurological condition that affects a small area of brain cells known as the substantia nigra. Gradual loss of these cells causes a reduction in a vital chemical known as “dopamine.” This decrease in dopamine can produce one or more of the classic signs of Parkinson’s:
- Resting tremors
- Slowness of movement
- Stiffness in of the arms and legs
- Gait or balance problems
Few patients experience all of these symptoms, and some may experience other signs:
- Small cramped handwriting (micrographia)
- Lack of arm swing or slight foot drag on the affected side
- Decreased facial expression (hypomimia), less frequent blinking or swallowing
- Lowered voice volume (dysarthria)
- Feelings of depression or anxiety
- Episodes of feeling “stuck in place” when initiating a step (also called “freezing”)
- Increase in dandruff or oily skin
It is estimated that up to 1.5 million Americans are affected, more persons than the amount of people with Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy combined. One out of every 100 people over the age of 60 have the condition.
It is generally considered a disease that targets older adults, though 15 percent of patients are diagnosed before age 50. Strides in public health and healthier lifestyle choices have helped people with Parkinson’s live well into their 80’s. This has given the impression that the prevalence of Parkinson’s increasing.
To date, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s. Physicians now have a much clearer profile of this condition, and many effective medications are now available to treat the symptoms. Parkinson’s is not a fatal disease.
Progressive treatments have allowed many patients to maintain a high level of function throughout their lifetimes.
Our Parkinson's Team
Our team provides patients and their families with the care and resources they need to be successful managing the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s and maintaining a high quality of life.
- Board-certified neurologists
- Patient care coordinator
- Social workers
Because there is no definitive lab test or brain scan to verify the clinical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, it is strongly recommended that patients seek clinical verification of their diagnosis from a board-certified neurologist.
Our Parkinson's Services
We provide many resources for patients, their caregivers and the community to access information about Parkinson’s disease.
Patient Care Coordinator
Our patient care coordinator and staff provide one-on-one education to patients and their caregivers and help connect patients with support groups and community services they might need.
A resource library is also available with a wide variety of brochures, books, videos and magazines about the care and treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease.
Individuals who are interested in additional information can attend patient/caregiver seminars we provide throughout the year.
Professional Training Programs
We also provide training programs and consultations for all health care professionals interested in learning more about Parkinson’s and the unique needs of their patients who have been diagnosed.
We also participate in ongoing data collection and research with the National Parkinson Foundation
in Miami and other satellite centers around Florida. We do this so we can provide our patients with the most innovative treatments and therapies available.
Referrals & Contact
Referrals to the Parkinson’s Center can be done by a patient, their physician or by family members. To schedule an appointment, please use the following contact information:
Tallahassee Memorial Parkinson’s Center
1401 Centerville Rd., Suite 504
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Patients, please call: 850-431-5001
Providers, please call: 850-431-7002
Toll Free at 800-662-4278, opt. 2, opt. 8