The year 2017 marked 200 years since Parkinson’s Disease was recognised as a medical condition. Here are seven historical facts that represent important steps taken on the 200-year medical journey since this momentous day. (See our fact sheet on Parkinson’s disease).
- Evidence of Parkinson’s Disease dates back to 5000 BC.
- In ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda, Parkinson’s was identified as Kamparvata.
- In AD175, Greek physician Galen described Parkinson’s Disease as “shaking palsy”.
- In 1817, James Parkinson published a medical essay on what he called the “shaking palsy”, prompting its recognition as a medical condition.
- Sixty years after the essay’s publication, French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot, known as the ‘Father of Modern Neurology’, studied the disease and named it after James Parkinson.
- In the 1960s, brain chemical imbalances were identified in Parkinson’s Disease patients. Low dopamine levels lead to nerve cell degeneration.In the 1960s, the drug Levadopa was developed to treat PD.
- America’s Parkinson’s Disease Foundation was established in 1957 to raise awareness, help patients and promote research on PD.