Parkinson's Disease


Parkinson's disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system.

How Parkinson's Disease Affects the Body -- The Doctors by The Doctors


The symptoms generally come on slowly over time.

What is Parkinson's disease? | Nervous system diseases ... by khanacademymedicine


Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking.


Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur.


Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease.

Dementia, also known as senility, is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person's daily functioning.


Depression and anxiety are also common occurring in more than a third of people with PD.

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination.


Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems.

Emotion, in everyday speech, is any relatively brief conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a high degree of pleasure or displeasure.


The main motor symptoms are collectively called "parkinsonism", or a "parkinsonian syndrome".

Parkinsonism is a clinical syndrome characterized by tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability.

A syndrome is a set of medical signs and symptoms that are correlated with each other.


The cause of Parkinson's disease is generally unknown, but believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors.


Those with a family member affected are more likely to get the disease themselves.


There is also an increased risk in people exposed to certain pesticides and among those who have had prior head injuries while there is a reduced risk in tobacco smokers and those who drink coffee or tea.

Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to Asia.

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from the Coffea plant.

Pesticides are substances meant for attracting, seducing, and then destroying any pest.


The motor symptoms of the disease result from the death of cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain.

The midbrain or mesencephalon is a portion of the central nervous system associated with vision, hearing, motor control, sleep/wake, arousal, and temperature regulation.

The substantia nigra is a brain structure located in the mesencephalon that plays an important role in reward and movement.

The brain is an organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals.


This results in not enough dopamine in these areas.

Dopamine is an organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families that plays several important roles in the brain and body.


The reason for this cell death is poorly understood, but involves the build-up of proteins into Lewy bodies in the neurons.

A neuron is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals.

Proteins are large biomolecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues.

Cell death is the event of a biological cell ceasing to carry out its functions.


Diagnosis of typical cases is mainly based on symptoms, with tests such as neuroimaging being used to rule out other diseases.

Neuroimaging or brain imaging is the use of various techniques to either directly or indirectly image the structure, function/pharmacology of the nervous system.


There is no cure for Parkinson's disease.


Initial treatment is typically with the antiparkinson medication L-DOPA, with dopamine agonists being used once levodopa becomes less effective.

A dopamine agonist is a compound that activates dopamine receptors in the absence of that receptor's physiological ligand, the neurotransmitter dopamine.

An antiparkinson medication is a type of drug which is intended to treat and relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

L-DOPA is an amino acid that is made and used as part of the normal biology of humans, some animals and plants.


As the disease progresses and neurons continue to be lost, these medications become less effective while at the same time they produce a complication marked by involuntary writhing movements.


Diet and some forms of rehabilitation have shown some effectiveness at improving symptoms.


Surgery to place microelectrodes for deep brain stimulation has been used to reduce motor symptoms in severe cases where drugs are ineffective.

Deep brain stimulation is a neurosurgical procedure introduced in 1987, involving the implantation of a medical device called a neurostimulator, which sends electrical impulses, through implanted electrodes, to specific targets in the brain for the treatment of movement and neuropsychiatric disorders.

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