An Overview Of Parkinson Disease

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An Overview of Parkinson Disease Parkinson disease (PD) is a condition consisting of many unanswered questions. What causes it? Is it a genetic disorder? How will an individual know if they will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime? The list of enquiries one might present is endless. However, before even attempting to answer any questions, it is essential to understand the disease as a whole. In order to do so, grasping basic background information as well as data on PD is necessary. Following that, discussing material regarding the science behind the disease will provide a deeper understanding when examining the subsequent etiologies, signs, and symptoms. From a historical perspective, PD was first described in 1817 by James…show more content…
In order to understand the possible etiology and the signs and symptoms, it is important to first recognize the science of PD and what happens neurologically. Nolden, Tartavoulle, and Porche (2014) explain that the brain structures affected by the disease are known as the substantia nigra and the basal ganglia. The role of the basal ganglia is to provide control of fine motor movements. What happens with PD, is there is a loss of dopamine-producing neurons from the substantia nigra which causes a deficiency in dopamine levels. Without a sufficient amount of dopamine, there are not enough chemical messages being transmitted to initiate, control, and balance movement of the target muscles. It is worth noting though, that dopamine levels decrease naturally as one ages, so symptoms could become more aggressive and prevalent the older an individual gets. Fallon et al. (2015) explains that the dying cells contain Lewy bodies, defined as protein aggregates, which allow the disease to be identified. However, it is still undetermined what all factors cause the degeneration of those brain cells and PD as a whole. PD is a disease of mostly unknown etiology; however, there have been links to various factors from environmental influences to genetics (Galifianakis & Ghazinouri, 2014). First of all, it is necessary to mention that the suspected environmental factors are hard to come by for they are merely risk factors. Nonetheless, they are still important to
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