Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive movement disorder that causes:
Tremor at rest
Slowing down of movements (bradykinesia)
Difficulty moving and gait instability
It is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the brain. This includes loss in an area called the
. The loss decreases the amount of dopamine in the brain. Low dopamine results in PD symptoms.
Factors that cause the loss may be from the genes, the environment, or some combination of the two. A small amount of people with PD have an early onset form. This type is caused by an inherited gene defect.
Secondary PD has similar symptoms but is caused by several factors such as:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. There are no tests to definitively diagnose PD. The doctor will ask many questions. This will help to rule out other causes of your symptoms.
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the head
—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the head
—a scan that makes images that show the amount of activity in the brain
Currently, there are no treatments to cure PD. There are also no proven treatments to slow or stop its progression. Some medications are used to improve symptoms. Over time the side effects may become troublesome. The medications may lose their effectiveness.
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provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
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