Parkinson's disease

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Parkinson's disease

or

Parkinsonism,

degenerative brain disorder first described by the English surgeon James Parkinson in 1817. When there is no known cause, the disease usually appears after age 40 and is referred to as Parkinson's disease; a number of genes have been found to be associated with the disease. Parkinsonism usually refers to similar symptoms resulting from head injury, encephalitis, syphilis, carbon monoxide poisoning, cerebral arteriosclerosis, or use of MPTP (a synthetic narcotic). The disorder is also termed paralysis agitans, or shaking palsy.

Parkinson's disease is a debilitating and progressive disorder in which the chemicals that facilitate electrical transmission between nerve cells are depleted. It was the first disease to be treated by drugs that replace deficient neurotransmittersneurotransmitter,
chemical that transmits information across the junction (synapse) that separates one nerve cell (neuron) from another nerve cell or a muscle. Neurotransmitters are stored in the nerve cell's bulbous end (axon).
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. Symptoms usually begin in middle to later life with trembling of the lips and hands, loss of facial expression, and muscular rigidity. As it progresses it may bring on body tremors, particularly in muscles at rest. Movements become slow and difficult; walking degrades to a shuffle. After many years physical incapacity may occur. Dementia occurs in at least 50% of the patients; depression is also common.

When drugs such as levodopa (L-Dopa) are taken orally, many of the worst symptoms are lessened. New drugs such as pramipexole (Mirapex) and ropinirole (Requip) can delay the need for levodopa. Apomorphine (Apokyn) is used treat episodes of reduced mobility in patients with advanced Parkinson's that responds less effectively to levodopa. Future approaches to treatment include a focus on early detection and slowing progression of the disease. Encouraging results have been reported from surgical insertion of a pacemakerlike device deep in the brain to suppress uncontrolled movements, but surgical transplantation of fetal dopamine-producing cells failed to show significant benefits in a controlled study. Traditional surgery can alleviate some tremors, and physical therapy may help mobility.

Parkinson's disease

[′pär·kən·sənz di‚zēz]
(medicine)
References in periodicals archive ?
to determine whether the majority of persons with Parkinson disease are depressed) from examining it.
These data suggest that chronic depression is not experienced by the majority of persons with Parkinson disease who are similar to our subjects and, hence, it is not a primary symptom of Parkinson disease for such persons.
Our "typical" (average) participant was male, married, over 60, had had Parkinson disease for eight years, and belonged to a support group for persons with the disease.
President and Chief Executive Officer of FoldRx followed by saying, "FoldRx is actively pursuing small molecule drugs to treat Parkinson disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
FoldRx's initial pipeline includes a program in clinical development to treat two genetic diseases, Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (FAP) and Familial Amyloid Cardiomyopathy (FAC), and a discovery program in Parkinson disease, based on its broad, proprietary yeast-based drug discovery platform.
Parkinson disease is unique from AD in that it is characterized by abnormalities of motor control, as opposed to intellectual and personality changes.
Parkinson disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system that can cause trembling or shakiness, rigid muscles, slowed movement, and impaired balance.
The study, conducted at the Parkinson Institute in Milan, Italy, included 188 patients with Parkinson disease who also reported significant past exposure to hydrocarbon solvents, found in many common products such as paints, glues, and petroleum derivatives.
According to Feldman, there are insufficient data to indicate whether Parkinson disease was a direct toxic effect or an induced condition in genetically susceptible people.
An earlier NIEHS-led neurodegenerative disease program announcement issued in partnership with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) titled Xenobiotics and Cell Death/Injury in Neurodegenerative Disease (PAS-99-054) continues to solicit new research projects, primarily in the area of Parkinson disease.
In addition, the NIEHS convened national experts in population-based research on Parkinson disease to discuss ways of accelerating and advancing progress on population-based research aimed at elucidating the environmental risk factors for this disease.