Parkinson’s disease
  • A brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination
  • Begins gradually and get worse over time
  • People may have difficulty walking and talking
  • May also have mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue
  • Both men and women can have Parkinson’s disease
  • The disease affects about 50 percent more men than women
What causes Parkinson’s disease?
  • Occurs when nerve cells, or neurons, in an area of the brain that controls movement become impaired and/or die
  • When the neurons die or become impaired, they produce less dopamine, which causes movement problems
  • Scientists still do not know what causes cells that produce dopamine to die
  • Some cases appear to be hereditary, few can be traced to genetic mutations
  • Decreased movement of food through the digestive tract
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up from a sitting or lying-down position
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease has four main symptoms:

  • Tremor (trembling) in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
  • Stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • Slowness of movement
  • Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls

Other symptoms may include depression, emotional changes, difficulty swallowing, chewing and speaking, urinary problems, constipation, skin problems and sleep disruptions.

Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease
  • A number of disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s
  • Parkinson’s-like symptoms in people can sometimes be due to parkinsonism
  • Medical test and or drug treatment can identify Parkinson’s
  • Exact diagnosis is important to identify correct course of action
  • Currently no blood or laboratory tests to diagnose nongenetic cases
  • Diagnosis is based on a person’s medical history and a neurological examination
Treatment of Parkinson’s disease

Medicines prescribed for Parkinson’s include:

  • Drugs that increase the level of dopamine in the brain
  • Drugs that affect other brain chemicals in the body
  • Drugs that help control nonmotor symptoms

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