History of Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's has been around since the beginning of time. However, it has not always been know as Parkinson's disease. A London doctor by the name of James Parkinson first brought attention to the subject by publishing a medical essay. The publication titled "An Essay on the Shaking Palsy" help established Parkinson's disease as an accepted medical condition. Dr. Parkinson intended the publication to spark interest in others in hopes they may do further research on the disease. However, it took around 60 years after it was published before someone took interest in study of the disease. Jean Martin Charcot was next to bring awareness to the disease. He remarked at its importance and coined the name Parkinson's disease.
In the 1960's, research led scientists to discover that Parkinson's patients' brains are chemically different. It showed patients with Parkinson's having low levels of dopamine caused by the degeneration of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra, which is considered the midbrain where motor function is located. This discovery led to the first effective medication in the treatment of the symptoms related to the disease and is still used to this day.
Since the 1960's research continued in hopes to unearth more knowledge about the disease. There is much that has been learned about this disease, though there is a great deal more we need to know to develop a cure. The symptoms are progressive and degenerative and tend to be more common in older individuals. It is understood that a dopamine deficiency in the brain is the source, yet why this initially occurs is unclear. Although there is no cure for the disease, its symptoms can be managed with medications. Hopefully one day a great breakthrough in medicine can be made in finding a cure for this disease and no one else would ever suffer from this disease and its devastating effects (Goetz, 2011).
Drug Reference Card
Drug Name: Brand - Sinemet, Stalevo, Parcopa Generic - Carbidopa-Levodopa (Levodopa and Carbidopa, 2014).
Dosage and Routes of Administration - Dosing: Carbidopa-levodopa is taken several times per day orally. The initial dose using regular tablets is 25/100 mg three times daily. The dose may be increased by one tablet every day or every other day until 8 tablets of 25/100 mg daily is reached. Alternatively 10/100 mg three or four times daily may be used initially and increased by one tablet daily or every other day until a total of eight tablets daily is reached. The dose of controlled release tablets is 50/200 mg twice daily and may increase up to 1.6 grams levodopa daily. Controlled release tablet should be given at least 6 hours apart (Poulopoulos & Waters, 2010).
Carbidopa-levodopa is a combined dopamine replacement therapy. It works as a dopamine agonists, which does not convert to dopamine in the brain but instead mimics the effect of dopamine on the brain. Dopamine agonists supplement...