Parkinson’s Disease

Topics: Dopamine, Parkinson's disease, Substantia nigra Pages: 5 (1677 words) Published: November 10, 2011
Psychological Disorder Paper

Psychology 150

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson Disease is a disease that I really didn’t have a clear understanding about. I haven’t or at least I don’t know that I have met someone with Parkinson disease. What I thought I knew about Parkinson disease was, that it involves a lot of shaking and seizures. I also thought that Parkinson disease stems from numerously being hit in the head or multiple head injuries. I don’t know anyone personally with Parkinson disease but what I’ve known about this disease is that Michael J. Fox is one of the celebrity’s to have Parkinson disease. He is an activist and one of the people to make Parkinson Disease well known. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder is a book which breaks down the diagnose disorders, these disorders are clinical disorders, personality disorders and mental retardation, general medical conditions, psychosocial and environmental problems, and Global assessment of function scale. Because Parkinson Disease is not a mental disorder, Parkinson’s would be placed under the Dementia due to general medical condition. Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. What I’ve learned about this disease is that, Parkinson's disease affects the way you move. It happens when there is a problem with certain nerves in the brain. Those nerves make an important chemical called dopamine. Dopamine sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement and dopamine lets your muscles move smoothly. Dopamine is produced in the substantia nigra situated in the basal ganglia in the brain and is essential for the control of voluntary and involuntary movement. The nigrostriatal pathway projects from the substantia nigra to the striarum, and it is here that dopamine is released so that movement can take place (Noble, 2007). People usually start to have symptoms between the ages of 50 and 60, but in some cases people symptoms start earlier. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common disorder, affecting people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds in countries around the world. Parkinson's disease most commonly begins between ages 55 and 60; the majority of patients are over 65 (Kassicieh, 2001). Men are more likely then women to develop Parkinson disease. It affects men slightly more frequently than women (Kassicieh, 2001). No one knows for sure what makes these nerve cells break down. Despite extensive clinical research, the cause for the loss of these dopamine-containing neurons in the substantia nigra remains a medical mystery (Kassicieh, 2001) Parkinson's disease affects movement, producing motor symptoms. Four motor symptoms in PD are tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural instability. The clinical diagnosis of PD is based on early identification of symptoms related to dopamine deficiency. The symptoms of unilateral resting tremor, muscle rigidity or stiffness and bradykinesia or gradual slowing down and poor co-ordination of movements are well recognized as indications of the condition (Noble, 2007). In time, PD affects muscles all through your body, so it can lead to problems like trouble swallowing or constipation. Swallowing disorders are seen in the later stages of PD. Choking while eating may become a major problem, and patients should exercise care to eat smaller bites and chew food thoroughly (Kassicieh, 2001). Constipation is seen in the majority of Parkinson patients, as the normal intestinal motility slows down, much like the Parkinson patient himself (Kassicieh, 2001). As well the ability to speak and communicate correctly may become a problem for patients with PD. Communication is severely affected by PD and speech may be hesitant or hypophonic. This can have an adverse effect on the person's ability to discuss his or her needs and concerns (Noble, 2007).

Parkinson's disease also causes neuropsychiatry...
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