The factual cause of Parkinson's is unknown. Parkinson's Disease is a a
progressive disorder characterized primarily by uncontrollable tremors in the limbs, a
shuffling gait, and generalized muscular rigidity. It is usually not fatal, but leads to changes
in the entire body. Parkinson's is also know as PD. Recently a defective gene found in few
families with backrounds of PD was found. Though researchers do not believe that genetic
conditions are responsible for the disease. They instead think that it could be the
combination of a genetic preference and an unidentified environmental stimulate. When
PD occurs, degenerative changes are found in an area of the brain, which produces
dopamine. Parkinson's is characterized by a severe shortage of dopamine.
Over one-and-a-half million Americans are affected by Parkinson's Disease. The
standard prevalence for PD have been estimated at 120-180 per 100,000 in Caucasian
populations, and the prevalence of the disease in people over 65 years of age is
approximately 1% .
Incidence rates have been estimated at 20 per 100,000. Parkinson's
Disease ordinarily occurs in elderly individuals. Most symptoms are first experienced
between the ages of 50 and 60 years of age, and onset before 25 is very uncommon. Men
are affected slightly more often then women, although the difference between the two are
small. There is no nationality that has been found to be immune to the disease or
completely devoid of the disease. The highest prevalence of Parkinson's Disease is in
North America and in Europe, and the lowest prevalence rates have been found in China,
Japan, Nigeria, and Sardinia.
The dominant symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are due to abnormalities in
the extrapyramidal motor circuit. The basal ganglia are subcortical nuclei involving three
ingredients which are the caudate nucleus, the putamen, and the globus pallidus. The
caudate nucleus includes a...