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Parkinson's disease

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Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder caused by the degeneration of nerve cells in the portion of the brain that controls movement.

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. It is a degenerative disease that has no cure. The exact cause is also unknown, but the two major categories of causes are environmental and genetic causes. There are many different motor and neurological side effects of Parkinson's, which makes it a very uncomfortable disease to live with. There are no cures, but there are treatments specific to the patient. There are many different medications and a few new up and coming surgeries. Parkinson's disease has a long history, but has a bright future. There are many different people all over working to find a cure for this horrible disease.

Causes

There is no exact known cause for Parkinson's. Some studies have shown that there may be some environmental causes as well as genetic causes. The more studies that are being done the more evidence there is for genetic causes.[1]

ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES:

Pesticides are one of the largest known causes of Parkinson's. Many people who grow up in agricultural areas are more prone to Parkinson's Disease.

Some of the biggest environmental causes that have been found are pesticides, which can sometimes coincide with living in agricultural areas, and certain head injuries. Many studies have been done that help to prove that pesticides are a huge risk factor and may be a cause of Parkinson's [2]

GENETIC CAUSES:

Parkinson's was never thought of as a genetically transmitted disease, but recent studies show that it might be one of the main causes. Parkinson's is caused by a single genetic mutation which can be passed down to generations.[2]

The symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are caused by the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. The area of the brain that is affected is called the substantia nigra. This part of the brain is where dopamine is made. This chemical is used to communicate to the corpus striatum. Between these two areas of the brain is where it communicates a lot about muscle movement. When dopamine is not made, the brain lacks the ability to control the muscles [3]

Symptoms

This is the picture of the difference between a normal brain and a brain that has Parkinson's Disease.

Parkinson's Disease comes along with many different unpleasant symptoms. Some of them affect motor skills and some affect the neurological state of the person. Sometimes these symptoms are what help doctors to be able to diagnose the disease since there is no specific test to show that one has Parkinson's. It often takes a lot of trial and error before a patient is diagnosed with this disease [4]

MOTOR:

One of the most common and recognizable symptoms of Parkinson's would probably be a tremor. The tremor occurs when your body is at rest and it begins to shake without your control. This tremor is only pacified with voluntarily moving the muscle or some medications can calm the body down. Bradykinesia is another symptom. This is just a fancy word for slowed movement. The body has a hard time performing regular tasks at an average pace. It slows down and can become hard to walk or shake someone's hand. Muscles become stiff and this can result in bad posture and difficulties performing everyday responsibilities [5]

NEUROLOGICAL:

There are also a few common neurological symptoms that occur with the onset of Parkinson's. Speech habits can change for some patients. Their ability to clearly communicate can sometimes be hindered. Certain abilities to perform typical unconscious movements can be prohibited. Most of these are caused my the strain on the muscles that is caused by the lack of dopamine [6]

Parkinson's is a very uncomfortable disease. It causes the patients a lot of discomfort. Not everyone with Parkinson's has all of these symptoms. Each patient varies with mixed problems. Many medicines are being made to help ease the uncomfortable symptoms that Parkinson's can often cause [7]

Treatment

While Parkinson's disease has no real cure, there are a few different treatment options to make the side affects more bearable for the patient. There are different medications that can be taken as well as a few surgical options. Typically one will start out taking certain medications, and then as the disease progresses surgery's may be suggested [8]

The most common medication that is taken is called levodopa mixed without carbidopa. Since Parkinson's is caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain, levodopa sends a chemical to the brain that once in the brain is converted into dopamine. Studies seem to show levodopa as being one of the most effective medicines for people with Parkinson's. Levodopa can tend to diminish in effectiveness the longer that you take it. It is also known to cause tremors, which is also a side effect of Parkinson's [9]

A new surgical procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is now being used more and more often. Surgeons place electrodes into the brain and then place a generator in the collarbone. The generator sends pulses to the brain. There are some risks to this surgery, but it can also help stop symptoms for years. It is often suggested to people who have been diagnosed for a longer period of time. This surgery does not keep Parkinson's from progressing, but it does help with many different symptoms [8]

History

People have known about Parkinson's disease for a very long time, but there is still so little known about the disease. The "Shaking Palsy" was first ever heard of around 175 AD. James Parkinson was the first person to make scientific discoveries about the disease. It was later named after him in honor of his findings. He wrote an essay called "An Essay on the Shaking Palsy" in 1817. This was the first official writing addressing this specific disease. In 1957 the Parkinson's Disease Foundation was founded. It was founded in order to further research about the disease and raise money to help find a cure. There are so many different foundations all across the world who are trying to learn more about the disease in order to stop it. All of the medications have significantly helped so many people who are suffering, but there is still no cure to prevent the progression of Parkinson's. While people have learned so much about this disease throughout the years, there is still so much to learn. Many scientists are all across the country are still working on progressing different cures for this brutal disease [10]

Video

This work was made to explain Parkinson's Disease by Abraham Adberstein.

References

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. Parkinson's-Disease Mayo Clinic. Web. 28 May 2014 last updated.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Parkinson's-Disease-Causes MichealJFox. Web. 12 January 2015 Date Accessed.
  3. What-Causes-Parkinson's-Disease WebMD. Web. 12 January 2015 Date Accessed.
  4. Mayo Clinic Staff. Parkinson's-Disease-Tests-and-Diagnosis Mayo Clinic. Web. 28 May 2014 last updated.
  5. Parkinson's-Disease-Symptoms WebMD. Web. 12 January 2015 Date Accessed.
  6. Mayo Clinic Staff. Parkinson's-Disease-Symptoms Mayo Clinic. Web. 28 May 2014 last updated.
  7. Mayo Clinic Staff. Parkinson's-Disease-Tests-and-Diagnosis Mayo Clinic. Web. 28 May 2014 last updated.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mayo Clinic Staff. Parkinson's Disease Mayo-Clinic. Web. 28 May 2014 (date updated).
  9. NINDS Parkinson's Disease Information Page NINDS. Web. 28 January 2015 (last updated). Unknown Author.
  10. Parkinson's Disease History. Parkinsons.org. Web. 23 June 2009 (Date Updated). Unknown Author.

Other neurological diseases and disorders