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What is Parkinson’s, how is it treated, what are the symptoms and is it genetic?

PARKINSON’S disease is a condition in which parts of the brain are gradually damaged over many years.

Brain disorders affect about one in five people, but what causes it and how is it treated?

Parkinson's disease is a condition in which parts of the brain are gradually damaged over many years

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Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain are gradually damaged over many yearsCredit: Getty – Contributor

What is Parkinson’s disease and what are the symptoms?

Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain are gradually damaged over many years.

It is thought that about one in 500 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Most people who begin to develop symptoms are over age 50, but one in 20 people with the disease first experience symptoms under age 40.

It is caused by the loss of nerve cells in a part of the brain called the Subantia nigra.

This leads to a decrease in a chemical called dopamine in the brain – dopamine is key to regulating the body’s movements.

Thus, decreased dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Exactly what causes the loss of neurons is unclear. Most experts believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors is to blame.

Men have a slightly higher risk of Parkinson’s disease than women.

According to NHSSymptoms may include:

  • unintentional shaking of specific parts of the body (tremor)
  • slow motion
  • stiff and inflexible muscles
  • depression and anxiety
  • balance problem
  • loss of sense of smell
  • difficulty sleeping
  • memory problems

How is Parkinson’s treated and is it hereditary?

Parkinson’s is caused by the loss of neurons in the brain, which leads to a decrease in dopamine.

Dopamine is important for regulating movement in the body – so reducing its intake is what causes many symptoms in people with Parkinson’s.

It’s still not clear what causes the loss of nerve cells – but many experts think it’s caused by both genetic and environmental factors.

There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease – but there are treatments available to ease the main symptoms and maintain quality of life.

Including:

  • supportive treatment – such as physical and occupational therapy
  • medicine
  • in some cases, brain surgery

As the condition progresses, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may get worse.

This can make it increasingly difficult for you to do everyday activities without help.

Many people respond well to treatment and have only mild to moderate disability.

But some patients may not respond well and over time may become more severely disabled.

Parkinson’s disease doesn’t directly cause death, but the condition can put a lot of strain on the body and can make some people more susceptible to serious and life-threatening infections.

But with advances in treatment, most people with Parkinson’s disease now have a normal or near-normal life expectancy.

https://www.thesun.ie/health/2083829/parkinsons-symptoms-treatment-hereditary-brain-disease-alan-alda/ What is Parkinson’s, how is it treated, what are the symptoms and is it genetic?

Fry Electronics Team

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