Disease was first described by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817.
The illness affects a small area of the central nervous
system called the basal ganglia which controls body movements.
Parkinson's Disease is a degenerative neurological disorder
in which cells at the base of the brain progressively cease
to function normally.
These cells, located in an area called the substantia nigra,
produce a chemical called dopamine which acts as a messenger
along nerve cells. In Parkinson's, the amount of available
dopamine is reduced and movements tend to slow down and
become difficult to start. A resting tremor and muscle stiffness
develop as the unaffected parts of the brain try to overcome
the movement slowdown.
Parkinson's predominantly affects older people with 1 in
100 diagnosed over the age of 50. 30% of people, however,
are diagnosed in their 30s, 40's and 50's. At present
there is no known cure, though medication is becoming increasingly
effective at treating the symptoms.
The main symptoms of Parkinson's are tremor (or shaking),
rigidity (or stiffness of the muscles), slowness of movement
(known as hypokinesia) and difficulty starting movement
(known as akinesia). Due to the very slow onset of the illness,
people may not notice the changes in their ability to move
for some time. For some, a slight tremor of the hand will
be the first sign that something is wrong.
For others, difficulty walking or falling due to disturbed
balance control may be the presenting feature. Parkinson's
can affect all normal movements including walking, talking,
writing, driving etc and no two people are affected in the
The symptoms themselves tend to vary in severity from not
only day to day, but at different times throughout the day.
Monitoring and regulating the exact amount of medication
to take becomes difficult as the symptoms become more unpredictable.
It is worth noting that Parkinson's symptoms increase in
their severity with increases in stress. Therefore, stressful
events such as public speaking can greatly worsen the symptoms
of tremor or slowness.
As well as affecting physical movements, Parkinson's can
also affect a person's memory and thought processes. Difficulty
remembering sequential steps or planning out events for
the day become more difficult. The use of cue cards, following
written instructions, and a diary can all be helpful in
overcoming these problems.
Parkinson's Victoria Inc. was established
in 1981 when four women, out of necessity, established an
organisation that provided an information and support service
specific to the needs of those living with Parkinson's.
They had been diagnosed with Parkinson's, a progressively,
degenerative neurological disorder which affects movement
and balance and no other service, at that time, could meet
Parkinson's Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation which
provides information to the community about Parkinson's,
coordinates a network of support groups, and promotes the
positive aspects of living with Parkinson's, not coping
Education and support with reference to the impact
of Parkinson's, medication and treatment strategies,
and where to find assistance, empower the individual
to maintain an independent lifestyle. A supportive
environment of family, friends and the broader community,
who have an understanding of Parkinson's and its impact
on the individual, is conducive to a positive lifestyle
and better management of symptoms.
Victoria Inc promotes the right of all people living with
Parkinson's to comprehensive and excellent services which
encourage independence and quality of life.
We are committed to collecting the most up-to-date information
from medical researchers and health professionals, both
in Australia and from around the world.
This information is then distributed to people with Parkinson's,
their families, caregivers, and the broader community via
educational material in print and video format, as well
as information presentations to groups and seminars.
Parkinson’s Victoria produces a quarterly newsletter
for members containing news on research, treatment
strategies and local topics of interest.
To enable every person living with Parkinson's
to be fully empowered. To inspire a community attitude change
towards Parkinson's. To be the centre of excellence in reference
customer focused, accountable to our members and sensitive
to the needs of people living with Parkinson's engendering
trust and confidence. To think nationally. To be transparent in
our governance. To be dynamic and creative, demonstrating
vitality, energy, enthusiasm and enjoyment in our task.
To be fair and honest in all of our dealings. To find
out how we can help you, please call us on (03) 9581 8700.
of the work that our community-based Parkinson’s
organisations do, the stem remains straight and sturdy
for support, and the leaf embraces the whole flower.
bright colours emphasise hope and strength.
sky blue background gives a calm and clear-minded
petals of the flower are symmetrically divided to
represent the two sides of the brain.
from the first edition of the Parkinson’s Australia
Who we are
at our Head Office in Cheltenham, we are a vibrant
and energetic team committed to reducing the impact of Parkinson's
for the individual, their families and carers.
Peter Raymond, President
Fred Van Ross, Vice President
Adam Conrad, Finance
- Mr Damien Farrell
- Emma Collin - Chief Executive Officer
- Judith Mooney - Development Manager
- Victor McConvey - Parkinson's Nurse Specialist
- Breanna Wotherspoon - Health Promotion Officer
- Dianne Rayner - Client Services and PSP Support Worker
- Alisha Chand - Client Services Officer
- Josephine Berthelemy - Health Team Admin Assistant
- Ian Hosking - Finance Officer
- Lesley Speirs - Database Manager
- Melissa King - Office Manager
- Joelle Metcalf - Data Entry Officer
Address: 8b Park Road
20 Kingston Road, Cheltenham, Vic, 3192)
Address: PO BOX 2606
FREE CALL: 1800 644 189
( 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday )
Phone: (03) 9581 8700
Fax: (03) 9583 9952
ABN: 68 038 728 034
work with a network of more than 45 affiliated support groups across