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Parkinson's Disease
(NR013)

Introduction


Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a slowly progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, muscle control, and balance. PD was named for James Parkinson, a general practitioner in London during the 19th century who first described the symptoms of the disease.

Dopamine is one of three major neurotransmitters known as catecholamines which help the body respond to stress and prepare for the fight-or-flight response. Loss of dopamine in the corpus stratia is the primary defect in Parkinson's Disease. By the time symptoms develop, there is an 80-90% loss of dopamine-producing cells.

Although the exact cause of PD is unknown, research has concentrated on genetics, environmental toxins, endogenous toxins, and viral infection. The disease can significantly impair quality of life as well as survival.

Treatment is very individualized with the goals of treatment being to relieve disabilities while minimizing side effects of medications. The decision to treat early PD with pharmacologic agents often depends on the particular needs of the person and careful weighing of possible benefits, cost and adverse outcomes.

Get the Facts... With your MediFocus Guide


The Medifocus Guide on Parkinson's Disease provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:


What Your Doctor Reads:


This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:


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