Understanding Parkinsons Disease Essay example

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Understanding Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson's Disease or PD is a common and progressive brain disorder that results from degeneration of nerve cells in the portion of the midbrain that controls body movements. Occurring mostly in older adults that are over sixty years of age, the disease is characterized by gradual, progressive muscle rigidity, tremors and clumsiness. When Parkinson's disease occurs, degenerative changes are found in an area of the brain known as the substantia nigra, which produces dopamine, a chemical substance that enables people to move normally and smoothly. Parkinson's disease is characterized by a severe shortage of dopamine. It is this deficiency that causes the symptoms of the disease. Parkinson's disease
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Causes of Parkinson's disease The actual cause of Parkinson's disease is not known. Although a defective gene was recently found in a few families with extraordinarily high incidences of PD, most researchers believe that in the vast majority of cases, genetic factors alone are not responsible for causing the disease. Instead, it is suspected that Parkinson's usually results from the combination of a genetic predisposition and an as yet unidentified environmental trigger. There are many known theories about the cause of Parkinson's disease. Researchers have reported families with apparently inherited Parkinson's disease for more than a century. There have been many links as to the origin of this disease. For example, severe Parkinson's-like symptoms were described in people who took an illegal drug contaminated with MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine). It has also been found in people who suffered a particularly severe from of influenza in the early 1900s. This suggests that Parkinson's disease may be caused by environmental factors and just not genetics. This conclusion was as a result of the study on the genetic patterns of twin males who were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease before age 50. The results from the study led researchers to conclude that since genetics appeared to play a role in the development of the disease in young twin males, then the root of the disease may be environmental for the majority

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