Topics: Parkinson's disease, Dopamine, Substantia nigra Pages: 5 (1177 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Parkinson's Disease goes as far back as the 12th century B.C king Drooling described symptoms of the disease but was not documented until 1817 by James Parkinson. The term parkinsonism[->0] is used for a motor syndrome[->1] whose main symptoms are tremor at rest, stiffness, slowing of movement and postural instability. Parkinson's disease causes neuropsychiatric disturbances, which include mainly cognition, mood and behavior problems, and can be as disabling as motor symptoms. Most people with Parkinson's disease are described as having idiopathic[->2]. A small proportion of cases, however, can be attributed to known genetic factors. Parkinsonisms can be divided into four subtypes according to their origin: primary or idiopathic[->3], secondary or acquired, hereditary parkinsonism, and parkinson plus syndromes[->4] or multiple system degeneration. Parkinson's usually begins around age 60, but it can start earlier. It is more common in men than in women. A variety of medicines sometimes help symptoms dramatically. Studies on using stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease are under way. The prognosis depends on the patient's age and symptoms.

Parkinson's is a condition that has been known about since ancient times. It is referred to in the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda under the name Kampavata. In Western medical literature it was described by the physician Galen as "shaking palsy" in AD 175. However it was not until 1817 that a detailed medical essay was published on the subject by London doctor James Parkinson. It was in the 1960s that that the chemical differences in the brains of Parkinson's patients were identified. The low levels of dopamine cause the degeneration of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. It was this discovery that lead to the first effective medicinal treatment of the disease. In the 1960s the drug Levodopa was first administered to treat the symptoms and has since become the "gold standard" in medication.

Symptoms of the disease include resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and postural instability. These are the Primary Motor Symptoms. I will go into more detail about each of the four symptuous. Resting tremor, about 70 percent of people with Parkinson’s experience a slight tremor in the early stage of the disease. The hand or foot on one side of the body, or less commonly in the jaw or face. Bradykinesia is a person experiencing slow movements. A person with bradykinesia will probably also have incomplete movement. Rigidity, also called increased muscle tone, means stiffness or inflexibility of the muscles. Muscles normally stretch when they move, and then relax when they are at rest. Postural Instability or impaired Balance and Coordination People with Parkinson's disease often experience instability when standing or impaired balance and coordination. These symptoms, combined with other symptoms such as bradykinesia, increase the chance of falling. The secondary symptoms include stooped posture, a teantency to lean forward, fatigue, poverty of movement ,difficulty swallowing and drooling. Not everyone will experience thses symptoms. There is also nonvoter symptoms like pain, sleep disturbances, skin problems, depression, fear or anxiety and slowed thinking. Each person with Parkinson's will experience these symptoms differently. Many people experience tremor as their primary symptom, while others may not have tremors, but may have problems with balance. Also, for some people the disease progresses quickly, and in others it does not. What is the cause of this horrible disease? Parkinson's disease[->5] is caused by the progressive impairment or deterioration of neurons (nerve cells) in an area of the brain known as the substantia nigra. When functioning normally, these neurons produce a vital brain chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine serves as a chemical messenger allowing communication between the substantia nigra and another area of the brain called...
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