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Parkinsons Disease

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Parkinsons Disease
The cause of Parkinsons Disease & Which cells stop working?
Parkinson’s occurs when certain nerve cells (neurons) in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra die or become impaired. Normally, these cells produce a vital chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine allows smooth, coordinated function of the body's muscles and movement. When approximately 70% of the dopamine-producing cells are damaged, the symptoms of Parkinson disease appear.

The problems that result: 1. Tremor, (shaking, trembling) is the most well known symptom of Parkinsons, but is absent in one third of people when the condition is first diagnosed. Tremor usually begins in one hand and the spreads to the leg, before crossing to the other side. It may also be felt internally. Typically it is most noticeable at rest and when stressed or tired and disappears during movement and when asleep. 2. Rigidity or stiffness of the muscles is a very common early sign of PD whereby the muscles seem unable to relax and are tight, even at rest. You might feel that your muscles will not do what you want them to do. Rigidity may be experienced through the entire range of movement of a joint (called 'lead pipe rigidity') or just in parts (called 'cog-wheel rigidity). 3. Bradykinesia (slowness of movement) occurs because the brain is not able to control smooth and delicate movements. * Leads to a lack of spontaneous activity eg. arm swing diminishes. * Fine motor coordination is reduced eg. handwriting becomes smaller. * May lead to freezing or periods of immobility.

The Prognosis:
The severity of Parkinson's disease symptoms vary greatly from individual to individual and it is not possible to predict how quickly the disorder will progress. Parkinson's disease itself is not a fatal disease, and the average life expectancy is similar to that of people without the disease. Secondary complications, such as pneumonia, falling-related injuries, and choking can lead to death. There are many treatment options that can reduce some of the symptoms and can prolong the quality of life of an individual with Parkinson's disease.

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