A good essay on Parkinsons disease. Written for a medical class

Essay by DubC82High School, 10th gradeA+, June 2002

download word file, 4 pages 4.7

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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...