Parkinson's Disease

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Submitted By bildawg15
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Pages 15
Diseases are sometimes extremely devastating and cruel. Some diseases move very rapidly while others are slow and painful. Treatments are sometimes useful yet other times nothing can stop the silent beasts that lurk in the body. Parkinson’s disease is a slow moving disease that slowly corrupts the brain. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic motor disorder that causes tremors, rigidity, slowed body movements, unstable posture and abnormal gait. This happens when neurons, nerve cells, in a part or the brain called the substantial nigra gradually die. These cells normally produce dopamine, a chemical that helps relay messages between areas of the brain that control body movement. The death of the cells leads to abnormal low levels of dopamine, and causes difficulty in controlling muscle tension and muscle movement both at rest and during periods of activity. PD as of now affects about 500,000 Americans, with about 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It is generally a disease that affects people of late or middle age at about age 60 however about 5 percent of patients have early-onset PD and are younger than 40 years old when symptoms begin. PD is slightly more common in men then women. So far scientists have not determined the reason why some people develop PD and others do not. Some experts blame a process called oxidation. During oxidation unstable molecules that areproduced in the brain as a result of its normal chemical reactions which ultimately damage the brain. Another theory suggests that the effects of toxic affects of drugs may cause PD. Additional evidence suggests that PD may be related to environmental toxins especially because some claim that they havefound rates of PD that are higher in rural areas where farming is intense and residents drink well water. So far PD has not been linked to genetic abnormality. PD usually begins as a slight tremor of a…...

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