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Symptoms Of Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a motor system disorder that affects the brain’s dopaminergic system, which transmits the neurotransmitter dopamine through dopaminergic pathways. The substantia nigra is a darkly pigmented structure that projects one of the body’s three distinct dopaminergic pathways. The substantia nigra links to the globus pallidus of the basal ganglia, which consists of several subcortical structures (including the substantia nigra). The basal ganglia are connected to the motor regions of the cortex through the thalamus, and therefore, it is involved with controlling the starting or initiating of movement. When there is a decrease in the production of dopamine within the substantia nigra, and approximately 50-80% of the dopamine…show more content…
The four primary symptoms of PD are tremors, rigidity of movement in the limbs and trunk of the body, bradykinesia, or slowness of movement, and postural instability. The motor symptoms of PD are characterized by positive or negative symptoms, with positive symptoms indicating an excess of motor activity and negative symptoms indicating a loss of motor function. Resting tremor, rigidity, stooped posture, and poor balance make up the positive motor functions, and bradykinesia, hypokinesia (reduced motor initiation), gait disturbance, reduced facial expression, slowed speech, decreased voice amplitude, and ocular disturbances make up the negative (Zillmer, Spiers, & Culbertson, 2008). Other non-motor related symptoms of PD include depression or emotional changes, difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking, urinary problems or constipation, skin problems, and sleep disruptions. The early symptoms of PD are typically subtle and occur gradually, and it may be that the symptoms progress more quickly in some than others. As the disease progresses, it may become more difficult for those with PD to walk, talk, and complete their daily tasks (e.g. brushing teeth) (Riccio, 2016; NINDS,…show more content…
Studies have shown that those with PD will attempt to use the same strategy to solve problems, even when it does not work. They have difficulty shifting their mental set and using different strategies to approach the problems, along with a problem with reverting back to previous strategies after they have changed their mental set (Zillmer, Spiers, & Culbertson, 2008; Raskin, Borod, & Tweedy, 1990; Dubois, Boller, Pillon, & Agid, 1991). Temporal structuring can affect such things as “time tagging,” which interacts with one’s memory. Patients have been able to recall news events while indicating difficulties with remembering the order of these events, which can translate into difficulties within daily life, such as when medication has been taken or how to learn the sequence of events of a new task (Zillmer, Spiers, & Culbertson, 2008; Sagar, Sullivan, Gabrieli, Corkin, & Growdon,
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