Parkinson’s is a complex progressive neurological condition. Symptoms develop due to the brain not making enough dopamine to control movement properly (1)


    • Parkinson’s primarily affects older people
    • Slow onset (0-30 years)
    • Most common neurological condition
    • 1% of people over 60 have it
    • 2% over 80 have it


    • 100,000 live with Parkinson’s in Australia (1)

    New Zealand

    • Around 10,000 are affected (2)

    Why does incontinence occur?

    Within the brainstem is the pons, a specialized area that serves as a major relay centre between the brain and the bladder. The pons is responsible for coordinating the activities of the urinary sphincters and the bladder (3) 

    In Parkinson’s disease the pons in the brain gradually undergoes degeneration7 

    With Parkinson’s, incontinence is mainly caused by a disruption in the messages from the brain to the bladder or bowel (4)

    Common symptoms as disease advances

    • Impaired gait- shuffling, ataxia
    • Rigidity
    • Bradykinesia (slowness of movement)
    • Tremor to hand/arm
    • Impaired balance
    • Altered swallow- Dysphagia
    • Altered speech- Dysphasia
    • Dyspraxia
    • Decreased dexterity
    • GIT disturbances
    • Sleep problems
    • Mood changes 
    • Dementia symptoms (Cognitive changes- worsen slowly as disease progresses) (1) 

    Type Incontinence EARLY disease


    Type Incontinence MODERATE disease

    Urge incontinence develops
    Faecal incontinence can develop or chronic constipation/impaction
    Functional incontinence develops

    Type Incontinence ADVANCED disease

    Urge Incontinence 24/7
    Faecal Incontinence 24/7
    NB. Incontinence is the same as those with advanced dementia