Approximately 500,000 Americans suffer from Parkinson's disease, which is a movement disorder of the brain. First described in 1817, Parkinson's disease advances with age, and can debilitate sufferers by impacting day to day functions such as eating, getting out of bed, dressing themselves, and more. Although there is no cure, a variety of treatment options are available.
What is Parkinson's
Parkinson's disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine helps provide signals that organize your muscular movements. During Parkinson's disease, nerve cells in the substantia nigra that produce dopamine either die or become impaired. Because these neuron cells are impaired or killed, dopamine cannot be produced normally. With the reduction of dopamine in the brain, neurons do not behave as they should.
Muscular movements are then impacted. Patients of Parkinson's experience a loss of motor control, whether with expressing emotions, experiencing tremors, or more. This lack of motor control may mean that, for example, writing is more difficult; written letters may appear 'shaky.' Parkinson's affects many day to day aspects of life.
Who is at risk of developing Parkinson's? And is there one cause for the movement disorder which has been identified by scientists? Continue reading here for more information about risk factors and possible cause of Parkinson Disease.