Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Idiopathic Primary Parkinsonism, Hypokinetic rigid syndrome (HRS), or paralysis agitans is a degenerative disorder of the Central Nervous System mainly affecting the Motor System.
The cause of this cell death is poorly understood in the early course of the disease. The most obvious symptoms are Movement Related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movements and difficulty with walking and gait. Thinking and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia in the advanced stages of the disease; Depression is the most common Psychiatric Symptom. The sensory symptoms include Sleep and Emotional problems.
Parkinson’s disease is more common in older people after the age of 50.
When it is seen in young adults it is called young onset PD (YOPD). The main motor symptoms are called Parkinsonism or a Parkinsonian Syndrome. Disease may be primary or secondary; Primary Parkinson’s Disease is referred to as Idiopathic (Having no known cause). Some atypical causes have a genetic origin, while secondary Parkinsonism is due to known causes like toxins. Many risks and protective factors have been investigated. The clearest evidence is for an increased risk of PD in people exposed to Pesticides and reduced risk in Tobacco Smoking.
The pathology of the disease is characterized by the accumulation of a protein into Lewy Bodies in the neurons and from insufficient formation and activity of the Dopamine in certain parts of the midbrain, where the Lewy bodies are located, is often related to the expression and degree of the symptoms of an individual. Diagnosis of the typical cause is mainly based on symptoms, with tests such as Neuroimaging being used for confirmation.
Treatments are effective at improving the early motor symptoms of the disease. Treatment is typically with medications L-DOPA and Dopamine Agonists.
As the disease progresses and Dopaminergic Neutons continue to be lost, these drugs eventually become ineffective at treating the symptoms and the same time produce a complication marked by involuntary writhing movement.
The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease are all related to voluntary and involuntary motor symptoms.
Tremors: Trembling in fingers, hands arms, feet, legs, jaw, or head.
Rigidity: stiffness of the limbs and trunk, which may increase during movement.
Bradykinesia: slowness of voluntary movement.