Updated: Sep 1
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson's disease. The cause is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms. Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Parkinson's primarily affects neurons in the area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.
There is no absolute finding to date that states that Parkinson’s is hereditary. However, in few families, PD has been common for several generations. This might be due to the certain components of PD which are known to be genetic.
There are two types of Parkinson's disease
Primary (idiopathic) Parkinson disease
The majority of patients (around 80-85 percent) diagnosed with Parkinson's disease having primary Parkinsonism or idiopathic Parkinson's disease (meaning that the disease has no known cause). This type tends to respond well to drugs that work by increasing or substituting dopamine molecules in the brain
Secondary Parkinson disease
Secondary Parkinsonism is when symptoms similar to Parkinson disease are caused by certain medicines, a different nervous system disorder, or another illness.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE and Age factor
Most people likely to develop Parkinson's disease are 60 years of age or older.
With the advancement of age, the prevalence and incidence of Parkinson's disease also increase.
It has been found more common as twice in men than women’s population because of the protective effect of the female sex hormone
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson's disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. Early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.
Parkinson's signs and symptoms
· Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may a rub your thumb and forefinger back-and-forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremor when it's at rest.
· Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson's disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
· Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
· Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson's disease.
· Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
· Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections.
· Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.
Causes of Parkinson’s disease
In Parkinson's disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
The cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role, including:
Genes. Researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that can cause Parkinson's disease. But these are uncommon except in rare cases with many family members affected by Parkinson's disease. However, certain gene variations appear to increase the risk of Parkinson's disease but with a relatively small risk of Parkinson's disease for each of these genetic markers.
Environmental triggers. Exposure to certain toxins or environmental factors may increase the risk of later Parkinson's disease, but the risk is relatively small.
Researchers have also noted that many changes occur in the brains of people with Parkinson's disease, although it's not clear why these changes occur.
The presence of Lewy bodies. Clumps of specific substances within brain cells are microscopic markers of Parkinson's disease. These are called Lewy bodies, and researchers believe these Lewy bodies hold an important clue to the cause of Parkinson's disease.
Alpha-synuclein is found within Lewy bodies. Although many substances are found within Lewy bodies, scientists believe an important one is a natural and widespread protein called alpha-synuclein (a-synuclein). It's found in all Lewy bodies in a clumped form that cells can't break down. This is currently an important focus among Parkinson's disease researchers.
Risk factors for Parkinson's disease
Age. Young adults rarely experience Parkinson's disease. It ordinarily begins in middle or late life, and the risk increases with age. People usually develop the disease around age 60 or older.
Heredity. Having a close relative with Parkinson's disease increases the chances that you'll develop the disease. However, your risks are still small unless you have many relatives in your family with Parkinson's disease.
Sex. Men are more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than are women.
Exposure to toxins. Ongoing exposure to herbicides and pesticides may slightly increase your risk of Parkinson's disease.
DIAGNOSIS of Parkinson’s disease
· Early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is important for emerging effective treatment strategies to maintain a high physical quality of life for as long as possible. Due to the similarity of symptoms to the other movement-related disorders, it is a bit challenging in the initial phase to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. However, there is no certain test to diagnose the disease accurately. Hence, clinical examination plays a vital role in diagnosing Parkinson's disease.
· Brain scans (PET scan/ SPECT) and another laboratory test can be performed to detect other disorders resembling Parkinson’s disease
Cure or treatment of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson disease is not curable the way one removes a brain tumor or uses antibiotics for meningitis and patient gets cured. You need to understand your aim of management.
With medicines we can reverse/slow or stop further progression in most patients. Many associated problems are taken care by physical therapy also. But gradual deterioration of condition is inevitable.
Curing Parkinson’s disease with dopamine
No you cannot cure Parkinson’s with dopamine since there is no real cure
Parkinson’s occurs when a portion of the brain, the substantia nigra, fails to produce sufficient dopamine for the body to function normally. So the obvious treatment is to supplement the natural dopamine with artificial dopamine; however, artificial dopamine cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier. To overcome this problem, Sinemet was developed,it is a drug that combines levodopa (commonly called L-dopa) and carbidopa. Carbidopa enables the levodopa to penetrate the barrier and effectively treat some of the principal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
STEM CELLS CURES AND Parkinson's disease
And the most important DO NOT TRUST ANYBODY SELLING STEM CELL CURES! ALL THIS IS UNPROVEN As of yet, they are not a registered and legal procedure.