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Category Archives: Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson disease: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

There is no cure for Parkinson disease, but treatment can help control your symptoms. MEDICINE Your health care provider will prescribe medicines to help control your shaking and movement symptoms. These drugs work by increasing dopamine in your brain. At certain times during the day, the medicine often wears off and symptoms can return. If this happens, your health care provider may need to change the: You may also need to take medicines to help with: Parkinson medicines can cause severe side effects, including: Tell your doctor right away if you have these side effects. Never change or stop taking any medicines without talking with your doctor. Work with your doctors and other providers to find a treatment plan that works for you. As the disease gets worse, symptoms such as stooped posture, frozen movements, and speech problems may not respond to the medicines. SURGERY Surgery may be an option for some people. Surgery does not cure Parkinson disease, but itmay help ease symptoms. Types of surgery include: LIFESTYLE Certain lifestyle changesmay help you cope with Parkinson disease: Continue reading

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Parkinson's Disease: MedlinePlus

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a type of movement disorder. It happens when nerve cells in the brain don’t produce enough of a brain chemical called dopamine. Sometimes it is genetic, but most cases do not seem to run in families. Exposure to chemicals in the environment might play a role. Symptoms begin gradually, often on one side of the body. Later they affect both sides. They include As symptoms get worse, people with the disease may have trouble walking, talking, or doing simple tasks. They may also have problems such as depression, sleep problems, or trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking. There is no lab test for PD, so it can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors use a medical history and a neurological examination to diagnose it. PD usually begins around age 60, but it can start earlier. It is more common in men than in women. There is no cure for PD. A variety of medicines sometimes help symptoms dramatically. Surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS) can help severe cases. With DBS, electrodes are surgically implanted in the brain. They send electrical pulses to stimulate the parts of the brain that control movement. NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Continue reading

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What Is Parkinson's? | National Parkinson Foundation

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. Most people’s symptoms take years to develop, and they live for years with the disease. In short, a person’s brain slowly stops producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. With less and less dopamine, a person has less and less ability to regulate their movements, body and emotions. Parkinson’s disease itself is not fatal. However, complications from the disease are serious; the Center for Disease Control rated complications from PD as the 14th top cause of death in the United States. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s. Your doctor’s goal will be to treat your symptoms to keep your quality of life as high as possible. That’s why your gift to the National Parkinson Foundation goes directly to research that improves the daily lives of people with PD. Normally, there are brain cells (neurons) in the human brain that produce dopamine. These neurons concentrate in a particular area of the brain, called the substantia nigra. Dopamine is a chemical that relays messages between the substantia nigra and other parts of the brain to control movements of the human body. Dopamine helps humans to have smooth, coordinated muscle movements. When approximately 60 to 80% of the dopamine-producing cells are damaged, and do not produce enough dopamine, the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear. This process of impairment of brain cells is called neurodegeneration. The current theory (so-called Braak’s hypothesis) is that the earliest signs of Parkinson’s are found in the enteric nervous system, the medulla and in particular, the olfactory bulb, which controls your sense of smell. Under this theory, Parkinson’s only progresses to the substantia nigra and cortex over the years. This theory is increasingly borne out by evidence that non-motor symptoms, such as a loss of sense of smell, hyposmia, sleep disorders and constipation may precede the motor features of the disease by several years. For this reason, researchers are increasingly focused on these “non-motor” symptoms to both detect PD as early as possible and to look for ways to stop its progression. Continue reading

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Parkinson's Disease | AllAboutParkinsons.com

Here is everything you really need to know about Parkinson’s Disease all in one place… If you or someone you love suffers from Parkinson’s disease, this is going to be one of the most important letters you’ll ever read. Here’s why: There’s a lot of myth and misinformation floating around about Parkinson’s disease. Plus, most of the authoritative answers are written in medical language you need a medical degree to understand. You shouldn’t need to be confused about Parkinson’s simply because you didn’t go to medical school. You deserve to have all the information you need in one place, written in easy-to-understand everyday language that won’t confuse you. Why should you be frustrated in your attempt to find relevant and important information? As if having Parkinson’s disease or caring for someone with the disease wasn’t challenging enough.) Well, I’d like to share with you my experience which will help you a lot. So… Continue reading

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Parkinson's Disease – Dr. Weil's Condition Care Guide

What is Parkinson’s disease?Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide after Alzheimer’s disease. Parkinson’s affects nerve cells in the part of the mid-brain known as the substantia nigra, responsible for muscle movement. The result is tremors, rigidity, slow movements and difficulties with balance . Its signs and symptoms worsen over time, eventually leading to cognitive problems including dementia. But although Parkinson’s may result in disability, the disease often moves slowly, and most people have a number of years of only minor disability following a diagnosis. The motor symptoms alone are known as parkinsonism – they may be due to Parkinson’s disease, or to a number of other causes that may be temporary or reversible. The disease is named after James Parkinson, a British physician who published the first detailed description of the condition in 1817. Famous Americans including actor Michael J. Fox and boxer Muhammed Ali have the condition, and have raised awareness of it via books, appearances and interviews on behalf of groups such as the National Parkinson Foundation. What are the causes?There appears to be a genetic component, as people with a first-degree relative who has Parkinson’s, such as a parent, child or sibling, are at greater risk. In March of 2011, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine published research indicating that mutations in a gene called LRRK2 are associated with the most common inherited form of the condition. In addition, and even in people who are genetically predisposed to Parkinson’s disease, many experts believe that environmental exposures, such as unusual exposure to herbicides and pesticides, increase a person’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Certain drugs, when taken for long periods of time or in amounts greater than recommended, can cause parkinsonism. These include medications such as Haldol (Haloperidol) and Thorazine (Chlorpromazine), used to treat psychiatric disorders, as well as drugs used to treat nausea, such as Reglan (Metoclopramide ). The anti-seizure drug, Depakene (Valproic Acid), also may cause some of the features of parkinsonism, notably severe tremor. These medications do not result in Parkinson’s disease, however, and symptoms resolve when the medications are no longer used. Who is likely to get it?Parkinson’s disease generally begins in middle or late life, and the risk continues to increase as people age. Other risk factors include: What are the symptoms?Initial symptoms may include: an arm that refuses to swing when you walk, a mild tremor in the fingers of one hand or slurred speech. You may lack energy, feel sad or have difficulty sleeping. Daily activities may take longer than normal. Other signs and symptoms can include: How is it diagnosed?A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is made based on medical history and a thorough neurological evaluation – there are no specific blood test or x-ray results that can definitively support the diagnosis . Your physician will inquire about any medications you take and whether you have a family member with Parkinson’s. The doctor will assess your balance, walking, coordination and dexterity. Even if the symptoms are not apparent to you, a trained physician may detect subtle signs of parkinsonism – reduced facial expressions, a lack of gestures or a slight tremor. Continue reading

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Parkinson disease – Genetics Home Reference

Most cases of Parkinson disease probably result from a complex interaction of environmental and genetic factors. These cases are classified as sporadic and occur in people with no apparent history of the disorder in their family. The cause of these sporadic cases remains unclear. Approximately 15 percent of people with Parkinson disease have a family history of this disorder. Familial cases of Parkinson disease can be caused by mutations in the LRRK2, PARK2, PARK7, PINK1, or SNCA gene, or by alterations in genes that have not been identified. Mutations in some of these genes may also play a role in cases that appear to be sporadic (not inherited). Alterations in certain genes, including GBA and UCHL1, do not cause Parkinson disease but appear to modify the risk of developing the condition in some families. Variations in other genes that have not been identified probably also contribute to Parkinson disease risk. It is not fully understood how genetic changes cause Parkinson disease or influence the risk of developing the disorder. Many Parkinson disease symptoms occur when nerve cells (neurons) in the substantia nigra die or become impaired. Normally, these cells produce a chemical messenger called dopamine, which transmits signals within the brain to produce smooth physical movements. When these dopamine-producing neurons are damaged or die, communication between the brain and muscles weakens. Eventually, the brain becomes unable to control muscle movement. Some gene mutations appear to disturb the cell machinery that breaks down (degrades) unwanted proteins in dopamine-producing neurons. As a result, undegraded proteins accumulate, leading to the impairment or death of these cells. Other mutations may affect the function of mitochondria, the energy-producing structures within cells. As a byproduct of energy production, mitochondria make unstable molecules called free radicals that can damage cells. Cells normally counteract the effects of free radicals before they cause damage, but mutations can disrupt this process. As a result, free radicals may accumulate and impair or kill dopamine-producing neurons. In most cases of Parkinson disease, protein deposits called Lewy bodies appear in dead or dying dopamine-producing neurons. (When Lewy bodies are not present, the condition is sometimes referred to as parkinsonism.) It is unclear whether Lewy bodies play a role in killing nerve cells or if they are part of the cells’ response to the disease. Read more about the GBA, LRRK2, PARK2, PARK7, PINK1, SNCA, and UCHL1 genes. See a list of genes associated with Parkinson disease. Continue reading

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