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Since the introduction of levodopa therapy for idiopathic Parkinson's disease over 20 years ago, there has been an awakening of research interest in this chronic neuro-degenerative disorder. This paper describes current understanding of the role of genetic and environmental factors in the aetiology of idiopathic Parkinson's disease and problems associated with both diagnosis and management. It briefly outlines both pharmacological and non-pharmacological options for treatment. Despite an increasing armoury of available treatments, the optimum management for this condition remains controversial.