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What Is Parkinson´S Disease? Essay

1190 words - 5 pages

As humans age, some type of regression is often observed; it may just be a lapse in judgement or a miscalculation in movement. However, there may actually be a physical decrease or increase in bone density or muscle mass, resulting in limited motor movements or there might be a cognitive dysfunction, which could affect different aspects of mental processing. These types of deteriorations could result in a number of different degenerative diseases and it is important to inspect the neural structures that are affected as well as the possible pathogenesis, in order to determine what the syndrome may be. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive syndrome of the CNS that plagues the elderly and has been seen to be more prominent in the male population than the female population (Lees et al., 2009). This disease is a challenging and pervasive syndrome and unfortunately, there are not any treatments that will result in a full recovery. However, there are treatments that can help improve the state and well-being of an individual diagnosed with PD, if symptoms are recognized early (Lees et al., 2009).
James Parkinson, a neurologist in 1817, discovered symptoms in patients that did not correlate with any known disorder during that time (Bartels et al. 2009). He first termed this atypical disorder as “Shaky Palsy” because these individuals were characterized as having difficulty in initiating spontaneous or voluntary movements, a slowness of movements and rhythmic, oscillatory movements, or otherwise termed as akinesia, bradykinesia and tremors respectively (Banich et al., 2011). Due to these atypical and irregular movements, agonist and antagonist muscles will interact in an oscillatory fashion, in which the muscles are excessively contracting resulting in shaking and increased muscle tones (Bartels et al. 2009). Therefore, those with PD often have impairments with their dexterity and this can often result in abnormalities or freezing in an individual’s gait (Bartels et al. 2009). Additionally, those with PD may experience a decline in their ability to engage in everyday activities, such as motor movements of writing, eating, and getting dressed (Tortora et al., 2012). It has also been identified that individuals diagnosed with PD can experience cogwheel rigidity as well, which will cause a resistance in moving one’s wrist and arm causing them to be awkwardly flexed (Lees et al. 2009). These symptoms of PD can cause stiffening of the muscular tissues, which are specialized for contraction, as well as a loss of elasticity at a more rapid rate than what is expected with normal ageing (Tortora et al. 2012).
PD is considered a neurodegenerative syndrome because of a lack of dopaminergenic input into the putamen from the pars compacta of the substantia nigra (Banich et al., 2011). These structures lie in the basal ganglia, where it has been shown to be essential for the initiation and implementation of movements (Baltazar et al. 2014). Typically, there are...

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