Symptoms of Parkinsons Disease

The earliest symptom of Parkinsons Disease is most often limb tremors, particularly when the body is at rest. For most people diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease, their first warning comes when a leg suddenly starts shaking while theyre laying in bed, and wont stop. The tremor can involve a hand, a foot, a leg or an arm. It usually affects only one side of the body at first, and it may be years before it affects any more than that one limb.

Deep Brain Stimulation Parkinsons Disease Treatment

One of the newer treatments for Parkinsons disease is a surgical procedure that implants a thin, metal electrode into one of several spots in the brain and attaches it to a computerized pulse generator similar to a heart pacemaker. The treatment is called Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS for short, and its one of the most promising treatments for long term control of the worst symptoms of Parkinsons. According to a recent study that followed 79 patients whod had bilateral (both sides) DBS performed for two years after the surgery, DBS

Levodopa or L-Dopa

The drug levodopa, also known as L-dopa, has been used since the 1960s as the primary drug treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. Levodopa is a natural substance that is found in both plants and animals. The compound is actually a precursor to dopamine, and unlike dopamine, it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. As a result, when given to people with Parkinson’s, levodopa is converted into dopamine by nerve cells in the brain.

Parkinsons Disease Medications

Parkinson’s Disease results from the dopamine producing neurons in the substantia nigra becoming damaged or destroyed. An obvious treatment is to supplement the missing dopamine with medication. Unfortunately, treatment with dopamine itself isn’t possible, because dopamine doesn’t cross the body’s blood-brain barrier. The tightly packed cells in the walls of the brain’s capillaries prevent certain substances from crossing into the brain, including dopamine. As a result, dopamine cannot be directly administered to a patient to boost their dopamine levels to reduce or reverse the effects of Parkinsons.

Lifestyle Changes for Parkinsons Sufferers

Physical therapy and lifestyle changes should be looked on as the front-line defense against Parkinson’s. When physical therapy and lifestyle changes are not enough to combat or reduce the effects of Parkinson’s, your doctor will likely recommend certain medications, either alone or in combination. Eventually, as the disease progresses, a surgical procedure may be required. Healthy Eating A healthy diet and regular exercise are beneficial treatments for many health issues, and Parkinsons is no exception to this rule.

Environmental Causes of Parkinsons Disease

Up until this point, researchers have not been able to link any specific herbicide or pesticide component to the disease. Still, current research would indicate that those with extended exposure to certain herbicides and pesticides are more likely to develop Parkinson’s than people who don’t have this same level of exposure. Researchers have also found a genetic variance that appears to make people more likely to develop Parkinson’s if they are exposed to certain pesticides.

Genetic Causes of Parkinsons Disease

A person’s genetic make up can directly determine chances of the onset and development of Parkinsons. Current research suggests that people with a family history of Parkinsons are more likely to develop Parkinsons themselves. It is rare however, for multiple people in a family to suffer from Parkinsons. For example, if you have two or more close relatives (parent, child, or sibling, etc) with Parkinson’s, then your risk of also developing the disease is increased two or three times.

Causes of Parkinsons Disease

First described in 1817 by Dr. James Parkinson in his paper, “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy”, since then Parkinsons Disease has been the focus of much research in order to understand some of the processes of this complex condition. Dopamine is a chemical released by cells in the substantia nigra section of the brain. This chemical transmits signals between the nerve cells in this part of the brain and the corpus striatum, another section of the brain.