Abstract

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Background
Keywords
Findings
Author

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Background

This article provides information on Parkinson’s disease, using the 2010/2011 Canadian Community Health Survey, the 2011/2012 Survey of Neurological Conditions in Institutions in Canada, and the 2011 Survey of Living with Neurological Conditions in Canada. An estimated 0.2% of Canadian adults in private households (55,000), and 4.9% of those in residential institutions (12,500), had Parkinson’s disease. Younger age at symptom onset was associated with a longer period to disease diagnosis. As a result of the condition, 58% reported that social interactions were negatively affected, 61% reported out-of-pocket expenses, and 56% reported receiving assistance with activities such as housework, transportation or personal care. Among those receiving assistance, 84% relied at least in part on family, friends or neighbours. The primary informal caregiver tended to be a spouse (64%), female (62%), live in the same household (72%), and provide assistance on a daily basis (76%).

Keywords

Caregivers, neurological disease, limitation of activity, self-care

Findings

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease. It results from the loss of cells in the brain that produce dopamine, a chemical that controls the body's movements. As dopamine decreases, tremors can develop, muscle movements become slower and more rigid, and reflexes become impaired contributing to a loss of balance. Other symptoms may include depression, anxiety, emotional changes, cognitive impairment, difficulty swallowing, chewing and speaking, masked facial expressions, urinary problems, constipation, fatigue, and sleep problems. Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. The cause is unknown, and although there is currently no cure, medications and other treatment options are available to manage its symptoms. [Full Text]

Author

Suzy Wong (Suzy.Wong@statcan.gc.ca), Heather Gilmour(Heather.Gilmour@statcan.gc.ca) and Pamela L. Ramage-Morin (Pamela.Ramage-Morin@statcan.gc.ca) are with the Health Analysis Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6.

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