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Running head: PARKINSON’S DISEASE 1 Parkinson’s Disease Caitlin Amland Rasmussen College Author Note This paper is being submitted on December 9, 2018, for Sarah Shank’s Pathophysiology course.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE 2 Parkinson’s Disease Parkinson’s disease is “a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominantly dopamine producing neurons in the specific area of the brain called substantia nigra” (Antonello, 2013, n.p.). Parkinson’s is a gradual and grueling disease. It happens slowly over time and an individual can live with the disease for many years. It develops gradually with symptoms worsening as time goes by. It can be a very difficult disease to live with an manage because of the stress it can put on an individual mentally, physically, and emotionally. Figure 1. When motor symptoms begin to appear in patients with Parkinson’s Disease, many of the dopamine producing cells have been lost and there is a large decline in dopamine causing cells to die and symptoms to persist. Pathogenesis Pathogenesis is the development of a disease. Parkinson’s disease begins slowly and it is believed that it occurs due to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the mid brain. Parkinson’s Disease is not fully curable because the pathogenesis of it is not fully known. Parkinson’s progresses in stages. Stage One usually begins with mild symptoms that mostly occur on one side of the body and impact some facial expressions. Often times some tremors and rigidity will occur on one side of the body. Stage two begins and tremors increase. Walking and posture problems begin to impact the individual and daily tasks become more difficult. (Ross, 2017, n.p.) At this stage, patients can still live on their own, but with some difficulty. Figure 2. This photo illustrates the symptoms that can occur when an individual has PD.
PARKINSON’S DISEASE 3 As the five stages of Parkinson’s progression occur, symptoms increase. Stage three occurs causing balance impairments, slow movement, and decreasing independence. During stage four, symptoms become more apparent and severe. Daily life is very difficult and help is required. In stage five, the individual oftentimes becomes wheel chair bound and bedridden. Symptoms are extremely debilitating and around the clock nursing care is required. Individuals may have trouble with speech and communication as well as experience hallucinations and delusions. This description of the five stages of Parkinson’s disease was an idea created by Melvin Yahr and Margaret Hoehn. (Ross, 2017, n.p) The stages are used to describe the disease’s progression but it is unclear of the exact cause of the disease. Symptoms Parkinson’s disease includes a variety of symptoms. Symptoms begins gradually and worsen overtime. Sometimes, symptoms are unnoticeable at first. Early on, symptoms may be as slight as lessened facial expressions or lack of arm swinging when walking. Eventually, tremors, bradykinesia, rigid muscles, impaired posture, poor balance, loss of automatic movements, memory impairment, speech changes and writing changes may occur. Tremors can be classified

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