What Is Parkinson Disease ?

What Is Parkinson Disease ?

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder affecting the elderly population of the society. James Parkinson studied extensively about this disorder and described it as “paralysis agitans”. He published the report of his findings in “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” in 1817. The disease was eventually named after him to honor his tireless effort in trying to unravel the symptoms associated with the disorder.

Substantia nigra found in the brain is responsible for production of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter. This chemical substance controls numerous mental and physical activities in the brain. Degenerative changes leads to death of substantia nigra causing a decrease in dopamine levels in the body. This triggers a series of reactions in the affected individual. The degeneration is chronic or gradual and increases over time.


  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Tiredness
  • Paranoia, hallucinations
  • A sense of insecurity
  • Fear
  • Violent reactions
  • Imbalanced gait
  • Slurred speech
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Ataxia
  • Writing difficulties
  • Lack of facial expression
  • Bradykinesia

The disease generally affects people above the age of 50 years. However, these days, even people below the age of 40 are affected. In such cases, it is called Young-onset Parkinson’s disease. If people below 18 years are affected, the disease is called Juvenile Parkinson’s disease. Males are more likely to be affected than females.

Several drugs have been formulated to balance the neurotransmitter levels. Dopamine stimulators, anti dopamine inhibitors, dopamine replacement therapy are a few treatments being administered to patients. A complete cure without any drug-induced side effect is yet to be discovered.

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What Is Parkinson Disease ?