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Parkinson’s disease is a health condition that affects the brain nerve cells. These nerve cells are useful in the production of dopamine. The condition has been described as a chronic disorder that is also progressive; the symptoms begin to slowly show and worsen with time. Today, it is estimated that close to 1 million people in the United States are living with this condition.
When this condition affects a person, the first area that it impacts is the neutrons in the area of the brain that is known as substancia nigra. These neurons are the ones that are responsible for the production of dopamine; chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that regulates coordination and movement. As the condition advances, a decrease in the production of dopamine takes effect leading to the inability of the person to control movement and coordination of various body parts.
Despite many years of intensive research and studies, it has not been established what really causes Parkinson’s disease. Some experts believe that it results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors that may vary from an individual to another. In some people, the condition can be caused by genetic factors while in others; it can be as a result of illness, environmental toxins or any other events.
Aging has been identified by many scientists as a risk factor. People above 60 years of age have between 2 to 4 percent chances of developing the condition.
Most of the cases of Parkinson’s disease are not inherited directly but can be from relatives. Those whose parents or relatives have suffered this condition are reported t6o have higher chances of contracting it compared to the general population.
Some researchers have also suggested that Parkinson’s diseases can be caused by exposure to environmental toxins or injuries. Some of the environmental factors that have been linked to this condition include use of well water, living in rural areas and exposure to pesticides and manganese.
In order for one to be diagnosed, it must be established that he or she has one or more of the four most common motor symptoms of this health condition. Besides, there are also secondary and non-motor symptoms that can also be showed by a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Generally, the symptoms of the condition include:
It is important to visit a doctor immediately you begin noticing the above symptoms or suspecting Parkinson’s disease.
There is no cure that has been found yet for Parkinson’s disease. However, there are medications that can be offered to help in controlling the symptoms. In later stages, surgery can be advised by a doctor. Besides, lifestyle changes and physical therapy can also be recommended for those who have been diagnosed with the condition.
Some of the medications that have been used to control the symptoms of the disease include Dopamine agonists, Carbidopa-levodopa, COMT inhibitors, Anticholirnergics among others.
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