Parkinson's Disease

Topics: Substantia nigra, Dopamine, Basal ganglia Pages: 11 (4322 words) Published: July 6, 2013
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder associated with problems such as tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and also muscle stiffness (Pinel, 2008). Its foundation is based on the implications made by James Parkinson, the founder of the brain disorder. Many symptoms can be described within this disorder and to some extent, some causes can able be defined. Treatment then becomes easier to invent or find as causes and symptoms are apparent. This research paper will attempt to discuss the various connections with Parkinson’s disease and make the entire picture visible. The main attempt of this research paper will be signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, the causes and brain mechanisms, and finally gold standard treatment.

Parkinson’s disease affects millions of people around the world. It can affect up to one million people in the United States and almost six million people around the world (“National Parkinson Foundation”, 2010) It is a disorder that involves the lack of proper movement in individuals who are suffering Parkinson’s disease. It is a neurodegenerative disorder that induces a lack of dopamine in the neurons of the substantia nigra (Pinel, 2008; Dobkin, Rubino, Allen, Friedman, Gara, Mark, & Menza, 2012). Some fact about Parkinson’s disease is that it is more prevalent in males than in females (Pinel, 2008) and also that the risk of developing the disease is greater with age (Glass, 2012). However, Glass (2012) also suggested that symptoms usually occur after the age of fifty but at least one in twenty people can be diagnosed with Parkinson’s under the age of forty. This section of the research paper will discuss the history of Parkinson’s disease with its founder James Parkinson. Parkinson’s disease was named after its founder, James Parkinson, who was famous or well-known for his Essay on the Shaking Palsy in 1817. In this essay, he discussed the cases of paralysis agitans (Pfeiffer, Wszolek, & Ebadi, 2012), which in other, easier words is Parkinson’s disease. James Parkinson’s contributed to society and humanity a lot through not only his essay but also through other means such as politics, mental health, chemistry, and geology (Pfeiffer, Wszolek, & Ebadi, 2012). He was born on April 11th, 1755 to John and Mary Parkinson. His father was an apothecary, which is a person who prepares and sells drugs or medication, and also a surgeon. Morris (1989) postulated that James helped his father through his career and both wrote many case studies about their work (as cited in Pfeiffer, Wszolek, & Ebadi, 2012). Looking into his family life, James got married to Mary Dale in 1781 and the couple had six children together. One of their sons, John William Keys (1735-1838), became a physician and served as an apprentice to his father. He then worked with his father in medical practice and did so for 12 years after his fathers’ death. John Williams Keys’ son, James Key (1812-1849), in turn, practiced with his father until after his death in 1838. The Parkinson generations had a lot to offer to medical articles and researches and not only to medical practices (Pfeiffer, Wszolek, & Ebadi, 2012). During his education, he performed rescues for drownings in the London Waterways. For this he obtained the Honorary Silver Medal of the Royal Humane Society in 1777, when he rescued a man who had hung himself (Pfeiffer, Wzsolek, Ebadi, 2012). Not much information is given based on his medical education but his most appreciated work, the Essay on the Shaking Palsy, contributed to medicine greatly. This essay contributed to the cases of Parkinson’s disease and also provided the symptoms and causes to a whole new disorder, one that was not known or given a name to before. In his book, James describes the Shaking Palsy as: “Involuntary tremulous motion, with lessened muscular power, in parts not in action and even when supported: with a propensity to bend the trunk forward, and to...
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