Parkinson's Disease Affects The Nervous System And Neurons

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It is estimated that in one cubic millimeter of brain tissue, there are one billion connections between neurons. A neuron is the fundamental unit of the nervous system. A neuron’s basic purpose is to receive incoming information, and, based upon that information, send a signal to other neurons, muscles, or glands. A disease that affects the nervous system and neurons is Parkinson's Disease. Parkinson's Disease affects a person's muscular coordination and is caused by the death of cells in one of the movement control centers of the brain.

“The nervous system coordinates behavior and helps maintain the internal stability of animals” (World of Health). The brain is one part of the nervous system. It is divided into three parts: the forebrain,
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“The disease is caused by the death of cells in one of the movement control centers of the brain” (Sick!). More than one million people in the United States are affected by this disease, and about 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year with an equal frequency and men and women. It usually develops when a person is in his or her late 50s or early 60s. Parkinson's Disease develops gradually, but continues for long periods of time, usually many years. When brain cells die in the substantia nigra, it doesn't release enough dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps send signals that control movement, and without it, signals cannot travel from substantia nigra brain cells to other parts of the body. This makes every day movement like walking and writing to not occur correctly. Researchers have not yet discovered the basic cause of Parkinson's disease, but some think the disease is hereditary or caused by environmental factors. Some of the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are tremor (shaking), slowing down of movements, muscle rigidity (stiffness), problems with posture and balance, depression, changes in the way a person speaks, sleep problems, emotional changes, incontinence (loss of bladder control), changes in handwriting, and dementia (problems with mental functions). There is no known treatment or way to prevent Parkinson's disease…show more content…
They receive information and send signals to other neurons, muscles, or glands by using electrical signals called nerve impulses. When a nerve impulse reaches the end of a neuron, it triggers the release of a chemical, or neurotransmitter. The neurotransmitter travels rapidly across the short gap between cells (synapse) and acts to signal the adjacent cell. First, the neuron receives information from the external environment, or from other neurons. Then, it integrates, or processes, the information from all of its inputs and determines whether or not to send an output signal. Next, it sends the signal along its length at full speed. The distance may be up to several meters (a giraffe or whale, for instance) with rates up to 328 feet per second. Finally, the neuron converts the electrical signal to a chemical one and transmits it to another neuron or an effecter, such as a muscle or gland. “Neurons have many different shapes and sizes. However, a typical neuron in a vertebrate (such as a human) consists of four major regions: a cell body, dendrites, and axon, and synaptic terminals” (Biology). A single neuron can have up to 10,000 dendrites connecting to other
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