Parkinson’s Disease

Just imagine: your muscles going stiff, tremors running through your limbs constantly and the inability to smile and laugh with your grandchildren. This torment is the everyday experiences of a Parkinson’s disease sufferer. Parkinson’s disease is a growing concern in our nation, and though we know what the symptoms are, we do not know for sure what causes it, or even how to cure it. Throughout this paper, the definition will be described as well as the symptoms and treatment options. “Parkinson’s disease is a chronic degeneration of the Central Nervous System that produces movement disorders and changes the cognition and mood.

” (Vene, 1529). Progressiveness of this disease becomes noticeable around the mid50’s to late 60’s and it’s most prominent in males. The degeneration is due to the deficiency of a neurotransmitter, a chemical that controls nerve cells, called dopamine. Dopamine’s main job in the body is to control the cells which manage motor function. Since there is not enough dopamine in the body, the nerves are constantly out of control, sending more then twice as many electrical signals to the muscles and limbs.

Because of this, the muscles, especially in the hands and feet, are constantly trembling. The tremors start out very faint, referred to as “pill rolling tremors”. This trembling usually occurs in the limb, especially the upper regions of the body, but till gradually move throughout the whole body. (Venes, 1520) Another symptom of the disease is the rigidity of muscles. This occurs because the nerves are firing so rapidly out of control. When the electrical nerve signals stimulate the muscles, they then become stiff from the constant motion.

Because of this, most Parkinson’s patients often have a bowed back, because of the tense muscular state. They will also have a shuffled walk. As this muscles degeneration continues to occur, the face is severely defected as well. Therefore, most Parkinson’s patients in the later states of the disease have what is called a “masked face” and can show no expression, and swallowing becomes very difficult. (Saladin 476) The causes of the disease are very vague, and there is much on going research taking place.

Recently there has been a specific gene identified as a possible cause of a certain branch of the disease, but otherwise, Parkinson’s is a nonhereditary disease. It is believed that it is caused mostly from environmental chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides; therefore, the disease is progressively worse in farmers, especially in the Great Plains region of the Unites States. (Saladin 476) Extensive research done by Welders Health Network also shows that welders, who use old fashioned encased welling rods, have more of a chance of getting Parkinson’s disease.

This is thought to be because of the fumes given off by the rod. The coating on the rods contains the element manganese, which is toxic when turned into a gaseous form. Since the only protection fused for years was mostly for the eyes, welders have inhaled the fumes. Many welders now in their late 50’s are starting to show symptoms across the nation. (WHN) Treatment options for Parkinson’s have showed little success but not a cure for the disease. Dopamine has been tried as a supplement injection in patients and has showed not to cross from the blood to brain tissue easily.

It can only be made in the tissues. A man made compound of the dopamine chemical, though, has been found to give some relief to patients for the muscles rigidity The chemical is called Levodopa, and easily absorbed by brain tissue and since it is a chemical part of dopamine, it helps to slow down some of the excessive nerve firing. Even though it helps relieve some of the pain, t does not help slow the progression of the disease. It also has some very unfavorable side effects that plague the heart and liver.

The relief that comes from Levodopa provides only about five to ten years of help, because after that time the body becomes immune to the invading chemical. There is a new drug called Deprenyl which slows down the degeneration of the nerves and delays symptoms, but it has many side effects. Some of those are HPT, Nausea, and migraines. (Barr & Kienan 119) There is a surgical technique that has been used since the 1940s called a pallidotomy. It entails destroying small amounts of brain tissue or implanting a small electrode to electrically stimulate the nerve endings in the brain.

The most recent of treatments is implanting dopamine tissue cells into the patient’s brain. (Saladin 475). Cells are taken from “adrenal medulla tissue” or from fetuses and used for this process. The treatment is very controversial because of the fact that fetal tissue is being used from aborted fetuses. Parkinson’s disease is very hard on the human body, but it is also hard on the family. After about 5 years after diagnoses, a lot of patients become severely less mobile and unable to interact.

And as the progression of the disease continues, the “masked face” takes over the expression and emotions of the person. In conclusion Parkinson’s is a disease we really know a lot about, year we do not know how to conquer it. The symptoms progress from the small tremors to the inability to be mobile. New treatments are coming out every day, but some are more controversial or have side effects that make the patients health worse. The major hope for this disease is the decrease in chemical usage and having people become more aware about the side effects in out environment.

Once we become more aware of these hazards, we can save more lives from going through this awful ordeal. Barr, Murray L. & John Kiernan. Human Nervous System: An Anatomical Viewpoint. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott Company, 1993. Cotrun, Ramzi S. , Vincey Kumar & Stanley L. Robbins. Basic Pathology. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co. , 1992. Saladin, Kenneth S. , Leslie Miller, & In cooperation with Iowa State University. Anatomy and Physiology: Unity of Form and Function. Boston: McGraw Hill higher Education, 2004. Venes, Donald. Taber’s Cyclopedia Medical Dictionary. Philadelphia: FA Davis Company, 2001.

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Parkinson’s disease falls in the class of conditions referred to as motor system disorders. These disorders are due to loss of nerve cells that produce dopamine in the brain. It is manifested by having tremors, lack of coordination, stiffness, instability …

Introduction Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a life changing diagnosis. It is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that is the third most common neurological disorder of older adults (Ignatavicius & Workman, Medical Surgical Nursing Patient Centered Collaborative Care 6th edition, 2010, p. …

Introduction Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a life changing diagnosis. It is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that is the third most common neurological disorder of older adults (Ignatavicius & Workman, Medical Surgical Nursing Patient Centered Collaborative Care 6th edition, 2010, p. …

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