Parkinson’s disease is caused by degeneration of nerve cells in a portion of the brain called the substantia nigra which leads to a reduction in dopamine.

Low dopamine causes nerve cells to activate without normal control. Characteristic Parkinson’s disease symptoms include tremor, limb rigidity, slow physical movement, and gait and balance issues. Approximately one million Americans live with Parkinson's disease, with 60,000 diagnosed each year. The combined direct and indirect cost of Parkinson’s disease, including treatment, Social Security payments, and lost income, is estimated to be nearly $25 billion per year in the United States alone.