Attempts to cure or slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease have largely failed; researchers in this paper maintain this is obviously a direct result of the lack of insight into the pathogenesis of the disease. Parkinson’s disease is the product of the deaths of a number of dopaminergic (dopamine-secreting) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta region (SNc) of the brain. But what causes these deaths? In the paper “‘Rejuvenation’ protects neurons in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease,” Chen and researchers find that older neurons in the SNc are unusually reliant on calcium channels and that after blocking these channels, the cells are “rejuvenated” and begin acting like their juvenile counterparts; as a result, these cells become protected from Parkinson’s disease. Their research, thus, points not only to a possible cause of neuronal death in PD but also to a possible means of curing the disease.
Causes / Risk Factors
15-25% of people who have the disease have a parent with the disease. Having a parent with the disease increases a persons risk by 3 fold.
There has not been enough research done on the genetic causes of Parkinson’s Disease to say for a fact that they are directly correlated. When more research is done there may be more strong evidence, but it could go the complete other way as well. The Human Genome project should open many doors with the research of this disease once the funding is sufficient.
• Environmental factors
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, “Epidemiological research has identified several factors that may be linked to PD, including rural living, well water, herbicide use and exposure to pesticides.” They also state that a narcotic that has been made in labs called MPTP can cause an instant onset of the disease and its symptoms.
This is due to the fact that they are in the environment longer and their genes are having more time to mutate from sun exposure, unhealthy living styles, and free radicals.
Men are at a higher risk than women
1. Should be high in green leafy vegetables
2. Eat a balance of other vegetables and fruits
3. Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and sugar
1. Motor skills
1. Established correct balance of yin and yang
2. Brings harmony back to the body
Used to reduce the negative effects that the environment has on the body
What is Parkinsons?
1. A disease of the brain caused by a lack of the chemical dopamine
2. Dopamine allows the muscles of the body to function properly (i.e. smoothly)
3. The lack of this chemical is caused by the death of the nerve cells that produce dopamine (substantia nigra)
o When dopamine producing cells are reduced by 80%, the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s present themselves
Diagnosis, Symptoms, and Treatment
There is no definitive test that...