Parkinson disease - Essay Example

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The exact cause of the disease is unknown and researchers have proposed that a combination of environmental and genetic factors is…
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Download file to see previous pages The disease causes severe disability and is associated with high morbidity and mortality if untreated (Wirdefeldt, 2). Introduction of levodopa has decreased deaths and disability associated with the disease significantly. In this project, the clinical presentation, epidemiology, risk factors, treatment options and public education of Parkinson disease will be discussed with reference to recent literature.
The exact etiology of the disease is yet unclear. It is likely that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of the disease. In about 10 percent of the cases, genetic factors account for the disease development (Bekris, 228). Environmental risk factors include rural environment, exposure to pesticides and herbicides, well water consumption and living in proximity to quarries and industrial plants. Biochemical mechanisms of disease development include 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) accumulation in mitochondria and free radical damage due to dopamines oxidative metabolism (Wirdefeldt, 3). Genetic factors are important in early onset Parkinsons disease rather than in late onset disease type (Bekris, 229).
Parkinson disease is a disease of basal ganglia. The main neuropathological findings in this condition are presence of Lewy bodies and loss of dopaminergic neurons that are pigmented in the substantia nigra (Wirdefeldt, 3). The first clinical signs in Parkinson disease are motor signs. The signs are asymmetric. The first clinical symptom in most individuals is asymmetric resting tremor in the upper extremity. Eventually, the patients develop progressive bradykinesia, rigidity and difficulty in gait. Gradually, the axial posture flexes progressively and the strides progressively become shorter. Non-motor clinical symptoms include decrease in olfactory function, rapid eye movement behavior disorder, sleep disturbances, slowness in thinking, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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