Parkinson's Disease Essay

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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a striatal dopamine deficiency disorder as a consequence of neuronal loss in the substania nigra. It is named after James Parkinson, a British apothecary, who first fully documented its physical signs in 1817. Since then, significant advances have been made in our understanding of characteristic pathophysiology as well as in the medical treatment of different stages of PD. An overview of condition features in terms of epidemiology, manifestations, diagnosis and disease management will be discussed in this paper. I. Epidemiology Parkinson’s disease is a common form of Parkinsonism, affecting as many as one out of every hundred people aged 65 years and over. The disease prevalence increases with age, with…show more content…
These physical signs are commonly unilateral at onset, but become bilateral as the condition progresses. Apart from that, patients may have a flexed truncal posture accompanied by an expressionless face with hypophonic, monotonous speech and micrographia. Even though PD is predominantly a motor system disorder, mental health problems such as depression and dementia, and disturbed sleep are frequently encountered non-motor impairments. Several studies indicate that depression, above any other factors, is the major determinant of decreased quality of life, affecting not only the patients themselves yet their family and carers. Meanwhile, it is likely that the patient age poses a high risk of developing dementia. Another problem need to be taken into account is orthostatic hypotension which may further contribute to the occurrence of falls in the late stages of PD. In addition, autonomic disturbances consisting of urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, constipation, drooling of saliva, dysphagia probably ensue. III. Diagnosis The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease remains entirely clinical in most cases, based on a history and examination. Recently published guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advise that PD should be suspected in someone primarily presenting with the following cardinal signs: slowness, muscular stiffness, tremor at rest, balance problems and/

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