Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominantly dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.

Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. People with PD may experience:

  • Tremor, mainly at rest and described as pill rolling tremor in hands. Other forms of tremor are possible
  • Bradykinesia
  • Limb rigidity
  • Gait and balance problems

It is possible to have a good to great quality of life with PD. Working with your doctor and following recommended therapies are essential in successfully treating symptoms by using dopaminergic medications.

Atypical Parkinsonism

Parkinsonism is a clinical syndrome characterized by tremor, bradykinesia (slowed movements), rigidity, and postural instability. These are the four motor symptoms found in Parkinson’s disease (PD), after which it is named, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), and many other conditions. A wide range of causes may lead to this set of symptoms, including neurodegenerative conditions, drugs, toxins, metabolic diseases, and neurological conditions other than PD.

  • Lewy Body Dementia: Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement.
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy: PSP is a progressive brain disease with no known cause or cure. It affects brain cells that control balance, walking, coordination, eye movement, speech, swallowing, and thinking. Five to six people in 100,000 have PSP.
  • Multiple System Atrophy: MSA is a progressive brain disease featuring poor coordination and balance, slowness and stiffness, and sympathetic nervous system abnormalities among other problems.
  • Corticobasal Degeneration: CBD is a progressive brain disease with no known cause or cure. It affects areas of the brain controlling limb movement, speech, and other movement functions.
  • Drug Induced Parkinsonism: Drug-induced parkinsonism is likely the most common drug-induced movement disorder and one of the most common nondegenerative causes of parkinsonism. Any medication that interferes with dopamine transmission may cause parkinsonism.

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