Parkinson’s Disease Essay

683 words - 3 pages

Parkinson’s disease commonly known, as “PD” is a syndrome called motor system disorders. The cause of this syndrome is the loss of dopamine - producing brain cells. There are four main types of “PD”. They are, shaking in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face, stiffness of the arms or legs, slow movement, and instability of posture. Usually, people over the age of fifty are affected by Parkinson’s disease (1). The diagnosis of PD is based on the patient’s previous and current medical history and a neurological examination. Early signs of PD include, tremors or shaking, small handwriting, loss of smell, trouble sleeping, trouble moving or walking, constipation, a soft or low voice, masked face, dizziness or fainting, and stooping or hunching over (2).
There has yet to be a cure for PD, but medications can improve the symptoms of the disease. In most cases the doctor suggests surgery to regulate particular regions of the patient’s brain to improve the symptoms from PD (3). Medications for people who have PD are usually for replenishing the loss of dopamine – producing brain cells. The drugs that are given are called dopaminergic. These medications help reduce muscle rigidity, improve speed and coordination of movement and fewer tremors (4). The very first descriptions of Parkinson’s disease occurred around 5000 B.C. A civilization of ancient Indians called it Kampavata and they used the seeds of a plant that contained therapeutic levels of what today is called levodopa to treat it. Parkinson’s disease was named after James Parkinson, a British doctor who first described the disorder as “shaking palsy” in 1817. Parkinson’s disease affects 1 million people in the United States alone. It affects 5 million people worldwide (5). The cause of Parkinson’s disease is still unknown. Scientists and experts that work on finding a cause believe that the disease is caused by combinations of environmental and genetic factors, which vary in every person. Age is also a very important factor. 15 to 25 percent diagnosed with...

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