Parkinson's Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system. The disease is progressive, meaning that it gets worse as time goes on. People with Parkinson's disease may experience arthiritis, sporadic movements, poor posture and commonly shaking. Shaking usually occurs in the hands asymmetrically. Over 1 million Americans are affected by this disease today. 480 new cases are diagnosed each year. It was first recorded and researched by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817. He called it "shaking palsy," until it was later renamed after him. As the 1960's rolled around, advances were made in the research of the disease and opened up hopes of medication for the disease. Forty percent of people with the disease are depressed and researchers have found chemical evidence that the two are linked.
Parkinson's Disease is somewhat selective in who it affects. Both men and women get the disease. It mostly affects the 60+ crowd but more and more cases are being reported among younger people.
While there is no cure available for Parkinson's Disease, treatments are available. Most symptoms are the result of a lack of dopamine. Most medications for Parkinson's mimic the effects of dopamine. Levodopa is a common drug used in the treatment of Parkinson's. Once levodopa reaches the brain it is turned into the dopamine that the brain lacks. However, this drug does not put a halt to the progressiveness of this disease.
This disease is one that affects many people in such a sad way. Education about this disease is becoming more and more common and hopefully a cure can be found in the near future. Until then, the American Parkinson Disease Association has the best words for what we can do,...