Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a slowly progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, muscle control, and balance. PD was named for James Parkinson, a general practitioner in London during the 19th century who first described the symptoms of the disease.
Dopamine is one of three major neurotransmitters known as catecholamines which help the body respond to stress and prepare for the fight-or-flight response. Loss of dopamine in the corpus stratia is the primary defect in Parkinson's Disease. By the time symptoms develop, there is an 80-90% loss of dopamine-producing cells.
Although the exact cause of PD is unknown, research has concentrated on genetics, environmental toxins, endogenous toxins, and viral infection. The disease can significantly impair quality of life as well as survival.
Treatment is very individualized with the goals of treatment being to relieve disabilities while minimizing side effects of medications. The decision to treat early PD with pharmacologic agents often depends on the particular needs of the person and careful weighing of possible benefits, cost and adverse outcomes.
The Medifocus Guide on Parkinson's Disease provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of Parkinson's Disease?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing Parkinson's Disease?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease?
What treatment options are available for the management of Parkinson's Disease?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in Parkinson's Disease?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for Parkinson's Disease?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about Parkinson's Disease?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Motor fluctuations in Parkinson's disease. Professional Nurse. 2000
Parkinson's disease: a neurodegenerative disease particularly amenable to gene therapy. 2000
Surgery for Parkinson disease: A critical evaluation of the state of the art. Archives of Neurology. 2000
Too many treatments for Parkinson's disease: how should they be used?. WMJ. 2000
The use of SPECT in the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal. 2000
Dopamine agonists in the treatment of Parkinson s disease past, present and future. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2000
The role of functional neurosurgery in Parkinson's disease. Israel Medical Association Journal: IMAJ. 2000
Parkinson's: integrating the primary and secondary care guidelines. Practitioner. 2000
Parkinson's disease. Harvard Mental Health Letter. 2000
The role of entacapone in the management of Parkinson's disease. Hospital Medicine (London). 2000
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