Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson's disease.  Drawing from the site www.sciencephoto.com

What is it?

Parkinson's disease — is disease, associated with progressive loss of motor nerve cells (neurons) producing neurotransmitter dopamine. Because of this movement, and impaired regulation of muscle tone, manifested the characteristic tremor (trembling), general stiffness and impaired posture and movements. For the first time the disease is described by the English physician James Parkinson in 1817 in his "Essay on the Shaking Palsy."

Disease Parkinson (Parkinson's) ill about one hundredth man, centenarians sixty-year mark, and it occurs in men more often than women. Interestingly, the smokers are almost not affected by this disease, and fans of milk, on the contrary, stronger at risk of it, the mechanisms of these effects are not fully understood.

This diseasecauses trembling in the hands, the overall stiffness and, as a result, problems with walking and other movements, and is often complicated by other diseases that eventually lead to the death of the patient. The victims of Parkinson's were such famous personalities as boxer Muhammad Ali, politician Yasser Arafat and Pope John Paul II. First it disease described the English physician James Parkinson in 1817 in his "Essay on the Shaking Palsy." Even then, he identified some distinguishing external features of the disease. This, for example, the characteristic movements of the fingers — "account of coins" — looks really reminiscent of the expense of money and the specific hunched "posture petitioner."

Why did this happen?

We now know that disease Parkinson's occurs because of breach dopamine production — one of the neurotransmitters (substances that serve to transmit impulses in the brain). This leads to a dysfunction of the cells in the brain regions responsible for human movement. Predisposition to the disease may be inherited. Faced with the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, it is necessary to take into account that some of them may be caused by other factors, such as encephalitis, excessive intake of drugs, cerebral atherosclerosis, poisoning neurotoxic substances.

What's going on?

The appearance of the first symptoms of the disease usually goes unnoticed. Often, relatives and friends of a person for the first time pay attention to the reduction of facial expression, slowness of movements, especially when dressing, eating and walking. Subsequently, the man himself notes the decrease in manual dexterity, especially when performing fine movements. There violation writing difficulties when brushing teeth, shaving, etc etc. Mimicry person grows scanty, he rarely blinks, the person becomes maskoobraznym. It is broken. It is characteristic that the person is not able to walk independently, often easily runs up the stairs, can dance, skiing. The slow movement can suddenly give way to a fast run, which the patient can not overcome until the fall or will not meet an obstacle. Significantly hampered turns in bed, the problem is getting out of chairs or stools. Because of the mobility of the muscles of the pharynx violation swallowing become more scarce, causing the development of salivation. The latter can be so intense that a person is forced to always use a handkerchief or towel. Mandatory symptoms in Parkinson's disease are stiffness (hypokinesia), tremor occurring at rest (resting tremor), later there are disturbances of balance and trouble walking.

Diagnostics

When the disease is essential as soon as possible to begin treatment, so at the first appearance of symptoms should contact a neurologist. For the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease a person is sent to electromyography, which allows you to determine the cause of the tremor and eliminate muscular diseases, and for the diagnosis of brain activity is carried out electroencephalography.

Treatment

The main drug that slows down the development of the disease, is currently levodopa (levodopa), but its use causes a number of side effects. Suschestvunt several groups of drugs are more or less effective in Parkinson's, they are used together with levodopa (sometimes not) in the adjuvant therapy. It is encouraging that in recent years has been actively carried out feasibility studies of surgical treatment of Parkinson's disease by transplanting human patient cells that produce dopamine.

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