Chemical changes in the Brain In Parkinson’s disease (PD) there is slow and progressive loss and deterioration of nerve cells of the brain especially those involved with regulation and control of movements. In a healthy person, an adequate amount of dopamine (a chemical messenger present in the body) is present in substantia nigra (an area of cluster of nerve cells in the brain). Normally, dopamine is carried by the nerve cells from this area to another cluster of nerve cells known as the corpus striatum where these nerves terminate. Here, along with dopamine, acetylcholine, another chemical messenger, regulates the bodily movements.
Although the characteristic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) involve motor functions such as tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and loss of postural reflex, there are other neurological and psychiatric symptoms present in later stages of the disease which point to definite changes in brain function and personality of PD patients.
A concussion usually occurs after severe head trauma and this may be a possibility in the end stages of Parkinson’s disease when patients are more prone to falls. Depending on the extent of the head trauma, a concussion may vary in its presentation and is often ignored after an injury, although the full effect may only be realized a day or two after the trauma. In terms of Parkinson’s disease, there is greater difficulty in identifying a possible concussion since some of the Parkinson’s disease symptoms may blur or mask the signs of a concussion.
Understanding Parkinson’s disease Early disease The biggest question once a correct diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease has been made is when to start treatment and the medication used for that treatment. Treatments can vary greatly depending on the age, condition of the patient and understanding of the disease and its treatment that the patient has. In the early stages of the disease depression and anxiety may also play a part in the debilitating symptoms and therefore will become one of the main objects of concern when deciding on initial treatment.
Understanding Parkinson’s disease Parkinson’s disease is a terrible progressive illness which not only affects the person who has developed it but also puts a strain on those around them who care for them day in and day out. Not only do they have to see their loved ones going from healthy well balanced individuals to invalids, they also have to go about their own daily life and cope with day to day living. Some of the most common feelings the care giver will have are: Tension and fatigue More often than not those caring for someone with Parkinson’s will be putting their needs before those of their own, stress and lack of sleep will bring about tension and tiredness in the care giver. Irritability Caring for someone in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease will [… Read More]
Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating progressive illness which affects a person’s movement. Various parts of the body can be affected and symptoms such as stiffness in the muscles, difficulty when starting to move, slowness of movement and tremor in the hands at rest are part of the presentation. The disease was named after Dr James Parkinson who first diagnosed the disease in the 19th century. Why does Parkinson’s disease happen? The basal ganglia, a part of the brain affected by the disease, plays a vital role in the control of body movements. Cells in the substantia nigra, which is a part of the ganglia, produce a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger) known as dopamine. When someone is affected by Parkinson’s the dopamine-producing cells are lost and this then causes a shortage of dopamine in the brain. The [… Read More]