Parkinson's Disease Symptoms | Causes
of Parkinson's Disease | Parkinson's Disease
Treatment | Parkinson's Disease Cure
Parkinson's Disease is a progressive disorder that is caused by degeneration
of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra,
which controls movement. These nerve cells die or become impaired, losing
the ability to produce an important chemical called dopamine.
Parkinson's Disease Symptoms
Parkinson’s produces many common symptoms, including: tremor; muscle
rigidity or stiffness of the limbs; gradual loss of spontaneous movement,
often leading to decreased mental skill or reaction time, voice changes,
or decreased facial expression; gradual loss of automatic movement, often
leading to decreased blinking, decreased frequency of swallowing, and
drooling; a stooped, flexed posture, with bending at the elbows, knees
and hips; an unsteady walk or balance; and depression or dementia
Parkinson's Disease Cause
Why Parkinson's disease occurs and how the neurons become impaired is
not known. However, there is increasing evidence that Parkinson's disease
may be inherited (passed on genetically from family members).
considerable controversy surrounding the possibility of a genetic cause
of Parkinson's disease. In a small number of families, specific genetic
abnormalities leading to the illness have been identified. However, the
vast majority of people with Parkinson's disease do not have one of these
identified genetic abnormalities. It is probable that in people who develop
Parkinson's disease early in life (young-onset Parkinson's disease) there
is a genetic component. Because we don't understand very much at this
point about how Parkinson's disease is inherited, the implications for
children of people with Parkinson's disease are unclear.
There is also
some evidence that certain toxins in the environment may cause Parkinson's
disease. Scientists have suggested that external or internal toxins may
selectively destroy the dopaminergic neurons, causing Parkinson's disease.
Also, it is believed that oxidative stress can cause Parkinson's disease.
Oxidation is a process in which free radicals (unstable molecules lacking
one electron), in an attempt to replace the missing electron, react with
other molecules (such as iron). Free radicals are normally formed in
the brain and body, but usually the brain and body have mechanisms to
get rid of free radicals. In people with Parkinson's disease, the mechanisms
may not be effective or they may produce too many free radicals. It is
also possible that environmental toxins may contribute to abnormal free
radical formation and lead to Parkinson's disease. Oxidation is thought
to cause damage to tissues, including neurons. In most cases, antioxidants
protect cells from free radical damage.
Parkinson's Disease Treatment
Most Parkinson's patients are treated with medications to relieve the
symptoms of the disease. Some common medications used are dopamine precursors,
dopamine agonists, and anticholinergics. Surgery is considered when medications
have proven ineffective. DBS of the subthalamic nucleus or globus pallidus
can be effective in treating all of the primary motor features of Parkinson's
and sometimes allows for significant decreases in medication doses. Thalamotomy
can help stop tremor by placing a small lesion in a specific nucleus
of the thalamus.
Parkinson's Disease Cure
Unfortunately as there is no known cause for the disease we do not have
a cure yet.