Parkinson’s Disease By Devin Cornford 12-13-2008
Definition Parkinson's disease (also known as PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's motor skills, speech, and other functions. Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. The primary symptoms are the results of decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia, normally caused by the insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain. PD is chronic and progressive.
Signs Shuffling gait. Tremors of the limbs. Stooped posture. Stiffness. Some people also experience cognitive impairment such as dementia.
Symptoms Rigidity. Tremors. Bradykinesia (slow movement) Akinesia (loss of movement) Difficulty with balance and walking.
Secondary symptoms Depression Constipation Weight loss Sleep disturbances Drooling Difficulty swallowing and speaking And the worst of all difficulty with sexual performance.
Treatment There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease! There are however some drugs that slow the progress. Most treatment revolves around how bad the symptoms are. Minor symptoms are generally not treated.
Treatment Medication selection and dosage are tailored to the individual. Levodopa is a substance normally found in the body in limited amounts, and is usually the first medication prescribed. Levodopa PO can be converted by the body into dopamine the body needs. Deep Brain Sitmulation (DBS) targets areas of the brain where uncontrolled movements originate. The targeted region is inactivated by an implanted electrode. The electrode is connected by a wire running beneath the skin to a stimulator and battery pack in the patient's chest.
Treatment Parkinson's disease is a chronic disorder that requires broad-based management including patient and family education, support group services, general wellness maintenance, physiotherapy, exercise, and nutrition. At present medications or surgery can provide relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Some famous people you might recognize who have Parkinsons. He flew like a butterfly Back to the future to bad he couldn’t bring the cure back to the present
Another related disease Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) PSP is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s Some misdiagnosed cases are not figured out until autopsy. signs and symptoms are very similar to Parkinson’s. The one difference that I know of is difficulty swallowing is one of the main symptoms
My DAD not very famous but one hell of a guy. Died from complications of PSP in 2003.
Death People who suffer from Parkinson’s or PSP do not die from the disease itself. Most common cause of death is aspiration pneumonia. Due to loss of muscle tone in the facial muscles.
References Parkinson's disease. (Cover story). (2007, October 24). Nursing Standard, Retrieved December 11, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database. Parkinson’s disease foundation. Annual report 1992. PSP foundation website (www.psp.org) retrieved December 16th, 2008