Parkinson's Disease Demographics

Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurological disorders and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world.  The pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease is quite well understood, albeit not completely. Dopaminergic neurons particularly in the substantia nigra, a part of the brain, becomes damaged gradually and die leading to lower than normal levels of the brain hormone dopamine. Although this is known, the exact cause of this damage and cell death is not clearly understood. Risk factors including certain genetic mutations have been identified. However, these risks account for only a small proportion of PD cases. Analyzing the incidence and distribution of any disease also helps to provide clues to those at risk based on demographics despite not having any knowledge of the known risk factors. The study of this incidence of a [… Read More]

Parkinson's Disease Demographics

Cigarette Smoking, Nicotine and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder which occurs in about 1% of the general population above 55 years of age. It manifests as selective damage to the dopaminergic neurons, which are situated in the nigro-striatal region of the brain and leads to motor-deficits which includes rigidity, tremors, dementia, frequent falls, and freezing of gait in the later stages. Dopamine replacement therapy is the most commonly used treatment strategy against PD. However it provides only symptomatic relief and the disease progresses inevitably. Also, as the time goes by, it loses its efficacy along with a substantial increase in the side effects. That being said, it becomes crucial to develop an interventional strategy, which can effectively retard, halt or even reverse the process of disease progression. In this regard, the epidemiological studies over the past 50 years [… Read More]

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Parkinson's Disease Demographics

Early Onset of Parkinson’s Disease – YOPD (Young Onset)

Parkinson’s disease is often associated with older persons, over the age of 50, but a significant number of cases starts within the 40s. Usually these signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s goes unnoticed either due to the low intensity, of symptoms, ignorance about this disease or fear about confronting the prospect of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.