1 Degenerative Disease of the Central Nervous System 1 Defined as a complex, chronic, progressive, neurodegenerative illness resulting from the slow loss of the brain’s dopamine producing system Due to the degeneration of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra (part of the midbrain) Imbalance in dopamine and acetelcholine affects voluntary movement id=1&animationid=22 2 Most common hypokinetic movement disorder Movement disorder for which we have the most understanding. Four decades ago, PD was thought to be caused simply by a shortage of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra. Now it is known that this is only a pieceof the puzzle. 3 Affects men slightly more than women Not a reportable disorder in the US Can occur at any age, but most commonly diagnosed in the 5thor 6thdecade of life 4 Motor symptoms Non-motor symptoms Neuro-psychiatric symptoms 5 In 1817 described what he called a “shaking palsy.”Described people with : Tremor at rest Stooped posture Shuffling gait Tendency to go from a walking to a running pace. 6
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2 Dr. Parkinson’s first three cases were 52, 62, and 65 years old. He attributed one patient’s symptoms to alcohol consumption, and another’s to sleeping on the hard cold ground. Many early scientists believed PD was a normal phenomenon of aging. 7 8 With the discovery of neurotransmitters it was learned that a decrease in the number of dopamine producing cells was contributing to the symptoms. For a while, many scientists believed that the disease was simply an imbalance of dopamine and its excitatory neurotransmitter partner (Acetylcholine) 9 Although the mechanism by which the disease occurs is well understood, the actual cause of the disease is unknown. 10 Secondary Parkinson’s related to trauma, drug induced, post encephalitic 11 Viral infection Blows to the head Brain infection Atherosclerosis Exposure to certain drugs/toxins Environmental factors 12