Parkinson's Disease

genetic disorder

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative disease of the substantial nigra cells in the brain. These cells produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps the basal ganglia to maintain balance, posture, and coordination.

What are the symptoms?

Parkinson's Disease include general stiffness and fatigue; resting tremor of the hand, foot or head: and slowed movement. Later symptoms include poor balance, a shuffling gait, a masklike appearance to the face and a monotone voice.

How is it dianosed?

There is no "one way" to diagnose Parkinson's disease.

What is the treatment?

In Parkinson's Disease a dopamine deficiency develops in the basal ganglia of the brain. A manmade precursor of dopamine called levodopa can cross the blood brain barrier, especially with a companion drug called carbidopa, but it is usually a temporary solution.

How it is inherited?

Parkinson's disease inherited is unclear. The majority of people who are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease have no family history of the disease.

What is the patient's lifespan?

If properly diagnosed and treated, a person with Parkinson's Disease can have a normal lifespan.

What is some of the current research?

Researchers continue developing new treatments for Parkinson's disease. Some treatments currently being studied involve fetal cell transplantation, the use of stem cell, and gene therapy.

Is there a genetic screening test?

The ability to detect Parkinson's Disease before motor features develop already exists. Imaging tests such as fluorodopa-PET and SPECT.