A Gold Coast physician says countries like Australia with ageing populations are facing a significant increase in the incidence of serious diseases such as Parkinsons.
Doctor Tien Khoo from the Griffith School of Medicine has worked on a new study released in the UK this week which identifies new symptoms of the neurological disorder.
Doctor Khoo says the prevalence of Parkinsons is likely to double over the next two decades.
He says it is important to improve the understanding and treatment of the disease, particularly in places where ageing populations are growing.
"It's the same here in Australia, in Japan, China's going to face a monumental problem with their one-child policy as well," he said.
"It is a problem in Australia in the context of an ageing population. It's likely that the number of people with Parkinsons will probably double in, I'll say the next 20 to 25 years."