Parkinson's Disease

Presentation by: Camille Guimary

What is Parkinson's Disease?

A motor disease disorder that results in the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. With the lack of dopamine that is being produced, the patient has less ability to control his/her movements, emotions, and body. Parkinson's Disease can worsen and increase throughout the years.

What are the causes of Parkinson's Disease?

Many experts think that Parkinson's Disease can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Genetics: About 15-20% or the patients diagnosed have a relative that also have/had the disease. In a small amount of families, Parkinson's Disease can be caused by a gene mutation that controls dopamine secretion.

Environment: Some researchers say that occupational exposure to certain chemicals and toxin can cause Parkinson's Disease. Some factors that are linked to Parkinson's Disease are rural living, well water, manganese, and pesticides.

How do I know if a loved one has Parkinson's Disease?

There are four primary symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

1. Tremors- this could be trembling of one's hands, arms, legs, jaw, and/or face

2. Stiffness- this could be of the limbs or trunk (torso)

3. Bradykinesia- slowness of one's movement

4. Postural instability- unbalanced body or impaired coordination

Because of these symptoms, the patient might have trouble walking, talking, or completing simple tasks.

How can my doctor diagnose a loved one of Parkinson's Disease?

The doctor diagnoses by checking the patient's medical history and having a neurological examination. There are no available blood or laboratory tests that can be used to diagnose a patient of Parkinson's Disease therefore diagnoses can be difficult in checking for accuracy. Although there aren't any laboratory tests specifically for Parkinson's Disease, doctors can ask for a brain scan or other laboratory tests in order to eliminate other brain diseases.                                  

What is the treatment of Parkinson's Disease?

As of right now, there are no treatment for Parkinson's Disease, but there are medications in order to control some symptoms. Examples are Carbidopa which delays the conversion of levodopa to dopamine until it reaches the brain, and levodopa which makes dopamine. A therapy called deep brain stimulation implant electrodes to the brain which alleviates fluctuations of Parkinson's Disease symptoms.

What is the prognosis of Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease is a chronic disease because it persists over a period of time. Not everyone that has Parkinson's Disease experience the same pain or disability. Some people that are diagnosed can become severely disabled, while others only experience minor motor disruptions.

Is there any research being done on this neurological disorder?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are conducting Parkinson's Disease research at the National Institutes of Health. They use animal models in order to study how the disease would progress throughout time and to come up with new drug therapies. Some scientists are researching whether or not the environment plays a role in having Parkinson's Disease, while others are coming up with new drugs in order to slow down or reverse the disease.


-"NINDS Parkinson's Disease Information Page." Parkinson's Disease Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.

-"What Is Parkinson's Disease?" National Parkinson Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.

-"What Are the Different Forms and Stages of Parkinson's Disease?" YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.

-"Causes." - Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF). N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.

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