Parkinson's disease RESEARCH PAPER.docx - Parkinson\u2019s disease Oksana Kachmar The Breen School of Nursing Ursuline College NR 540 Advanced Physiology

Parkinson's disease RESEARCH PAPER.docx - Parkinsonu2019s...

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Parkinson’s disease Oksana Kachmar The Breen School of Nursing, Ursuline College N R 540 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology
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2 Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that was first characterized by James Parkinson in 1817 (Dahodwala et al., 2009). This disorder affects older American adults and is predicted to increase in prevalence as the United States population ages. It is clinically defined as a movement disorder but is often accompanied by a cognitive decline (Schneider et al., 2017). The typical characteristics of PD include dystonia and resting tremors, usually of the hands and progressing to the arms; additional characteristics are rigidity in the arms, legs, or neck and shuffling gait. Epidemiology The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease is 1.5 times greater in men than in women. This disease affects approximately 2% of the male population and 1.3% of females over 60 years of age (Fahn, 2010). Moreover, it was reported that age is the greatest risk factor associated with Parkinson disease; however, researchers do not know what specific age-related factors predispose some individuals to develop this common neurodegenerative disease (Fahn, 2010). Racial determinants for the incidence of PD is not yet established, a few studies were made to study such a correlation. In a study made in 2009, it was found out that cases of PD are more significant in the white population compared to the African-American population. In addition, it was discovered that the incidence of PD are also greater among Hispanic population (Dahodwala et al., 2009). In addition, Parkinson’s disease affects over 1 million people in the United States and over 10 million worldwide but the cause of this disease is still unknown (Fahn, 2010). Some scientists generally believe that both genetics and environment interacting may cause Parkinson’s disease in most people who have it. Approximately, less than 10% of cases of Parkinson’s disease are primarily due to genetic causes. Moreover, it seems likely that environmental factors
3 do influence the development of Parkinson’s, perhaps particularly in people who also have a genetic susceptibility. Certain environmental factors, such as excessive exposure to pesticide, heavy metal or even repeated head injuries can increase the incidence of Parkinson’s (Kasten et al., 2007). Pathologic findings Neuro-pathological findings in PD include the loss of pigmented dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta and the presense of Lewy bodies. Furthermore, upon examination of the cross-section of the brainstem, prominent features of loss of dark-staining areas of the brainstem are much indicative of PD (Figure 2). The loss of the pigmented area is directly associated with the loss of dopaminergic neuromelanin-containing neurons in the brainstem, hence their dark appearance (Kouli et al., 2018). Neuronal death in the substancia nigra pars compacta is restricted only to the A9 neurons, while other types of cells are unaffected (Kouli et al., 2018) (Figure 1).

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