Parkinsons disease essay

The cause of Parkinson's disease is not yet known although there may be a genetic link. Some researchers believe it may result from toxins, head trauma or stroke. Presently there is no cure for Parkinson's disease but available medications control the slow decline in function and manage symptoms quite effectively. Parkinson's disease is usually diagnosed in people in the prime of their life.

From blood letting to brain stimulation: years of Parkinson's disease treatment

Unfortunately, this also usually means that Parkinson's strikes during the peak of the individual's career. Parkinson's involves the gradual death of cells in the substantia nigra. In the early stages, a very large percentage of the cells die before the deficiency of dopamine becomes severe enough to cause trouble and causes the remaining functional cells to work overtime. Many times, consequences of aging present themselves much like the symptoms of Parkinson's.

There is no specific examination that provides a definitive diagnosis such as a chemical test or a x-ray study. Sometimes people with the disease can have trouble with thinking and remembering too. Because of problems with balance, some people with Parkinson's fall down a lot, which can result in broken bones.

Some people with Parkinson's may also feel sad or depressed and lose interest in the things they used to do. The symptoms of Parkinson's disease appear gradually and get worse over time.

But because Parkinson's disease usually develops slowly, most people who have it can live a long and relatively healthy life. In the very deep parts of the brain, there is a collection of nerve cells that help control movement, known as the basal ganglia say: BAY-sul GAN-glee-ah.

In a person with Parkinson's disease, these nerve cells are damaged and do not work as well as they should. When someone has Parkinson's disease, dopamine levels are low. So, the body doesn't get the right messages it needs to move normally. Experts agree that low dopamine levels in the brain cause the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but no one really knows why the nerve cells that produce dopamine get damaged and die.


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About 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson's disease, and both men and women can get it. Symptoms usually appear when someone is older than 50 and it becomes more common as people get older. Many people wonder if you're more likely to get Parkinson's disease if you have a relative who has it. Although the role that heredity plays isn't completely understood, we do know that if a close relative like a parent, brother, or sister has Parkinson's, there is a greater chance of developing the disease.

But Parkinson's disease is not contagious.

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Parkinson's disease

Key diagnostic factors presence of risk factors bradykinesia resting tremor rigidity postural instability Full details. Other diagnostic factors masked facies hypophonia hypokinetic dysarthria micrographia stooped posture shuffling gait conjugate gaze disorders fatigue constipation depression dementia exposure to neuroleptics or antiemetics features of atypical parkinsonism Full details. Risk factors increasing age history of familial PD in younger-onset disease mutation in gene encoding glucocerebrosidase 1-methylphenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine MPTP exposure chronic exposure to metals manganese, iron male sex additional genetic risk factors head trauma geographic influence toxin exposure occupation as a teacher, healthcare provider, construction worker, carpenter, or cleaner Full details.

Emerging tests sonography, basal ganglia cardiac sympathetic innervation using iodine meta-iodobenzylguanidine MIBG Full details.

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Graham A. Glass, MD.

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