Essay about What is Parkinson's Disease?

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Introduction Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting primarily the patient’s motor function. The disease is characterized by rigidity, tremor at rest, bradykinesis, and decreased postural reflexes (Bollinger, Cowan, LaFontaine, Ronai, 2012). Parkinson disease was largely documented and brought to the forefront by James Parkinson, who published an article discussing the condition in 1817 (Lees, 2007). While great strides in understanding and treatment have been made, Parkinson disease is still considered an idiopathic disease (Lau & Breteler, 2006). Many areas of the disease process have been noted, but no one has been marked as the primary causative process, as well as little has been solidified in diagnostic procedures…show more content…
The substantia nigra is where the neurotransmitter dopamine is made by cells. Neurons between the substantia nigra and the stratum send messages via dopamine. As the cells of the sustantia nigra deteriorate in Parkinsons so does the levels of dopamine in the brain, which is necessary for sending messages to other areas of the brain for movement control (Obeso, Rodríguez‐Oroz, Benitez‐Temino, Blesa, Guridi, Marin, & Rodriguez, 2008). The decrease in dopamine production also changes the dopamine to acetylcholine relationship in the brain, which the striatum require to function properly. While the striatum is very complex system which involves signal suppression and enhancement within the brain, the altered ratio of dopamine and acetylcholine can cause some tracts to be under suppressed and over suppressed (Obeso, Rodríguez‐Oroz, Benitez‐Temino, Blesa, Guridi, Marin, & Rodriguez, 2008). The degradation of the cells in the basal ganglia cause is unknown, but many suggest pesticide exposure, serious consecutive brain injury and possible genetic factors. Lewy Bodies Another major component of Parkinson’s is the development of Lewy bodies in degenerating neurons of the brainstem (Wakabayashi, Tanji, Odagiri, Miki, Mori, & Takahashi, 2013). These Lewy bodies are formed by alpha-synuclein bodies. These bodies are loosely understood to be protein aggregates that form in the substania nigra primarily but also in other areas of the brain stem
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