Parkinson’s Disease: Virus or a genetic disorder?

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease(PD) is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system. In Parkinson’s disease, certain neurons(brain cells) that control movement eventually dies. The nerve cells or neurons produce a chemical substance “dopamine,”neurotransmitter that is responsible for transmitting signals to other nerve cells, and the source tissue of dopamine is Substantia nigra. Parkinson’s disease sets in when the dopamine level reduced. The signs of Parkinson’s disease start to appear when the number of cells dropped 60 to 80 percent. Patients commonly begin developing this disease at the age of 60.

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. However, scientists think that it may be a genetic problem or the viruses can be a contributor as well. 

Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease; only treatment can help. According to the National Institute of Health(NIH), over 50,000 people in the United States diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease every year. Parkinson’s disease is the 14th major cause of death in the United States

As the early signs of Parkinson’s disease are as same as normal aging, that’s why mostly neglected, but as the disease becomes more progressive, its symptoms also become worse.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms include:

  • Hypokinesia
  • Postural instability
  • Blank facial expressions
  • Depression
  • Hallucination
  • Tremor
  • Cramped handwriting
  • Voice changes.

Treatments:

Treatment for Parkinson’s disease includes the combination of therapies, exercises, surgeries, medication. Therapies include Speech therapy, physical therapy. Several drugs are there for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Some of them are:

  • Levodopa
  • Dopamine agonists
  • Anticholinergics
  • Amantadine

Diet can also play an important role in reducing symptoms and also prevent the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Caffeine in coffee can be very advantageous as it can help in maintaining the level of dopamine in the brain. 

Although these treatments can only lighten the symptoms, the researchers working on gene therapy and believe that one day, it will be able to uproot the Parkinson’s disease permanently!!

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