Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson`s Disease


Parkinson`s is a chronic degenerative disease affecting the Central Nervous System (the brain and nerves). As it progresses the disease impairs motor function, speech and other functions.


The disease is named after English physician James Parkinson, who made a detailed description of the disease in his essay: “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” (1817).



Primary symptoms:

Parkinson’s disease symptoms result from decreased motor cortex stimulation by the basal ganglion. This results from insufficient dopamine formation by the dopanergic neurons in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the brain essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system.


Secondary symptoms:


Include a severe cognitive dysfunction and language problems.


It is characterized by:

  • muscle rigidity (hypertonia)

  • tremor

  • slowed physical movement (bradykinesis)

  • inability to move in severe cases (akinesis)

  • impaired balence

  • Fatigue

  • Soft Speech (dysphasia)

  • Difficulties with handwriting

  • Stooped posture

  • Constipation

  • Sleep disturbances


Genetice links:


two possible mutations in the alpha synergic gene may be associated with Parkinson`s


the first:

  • the mutation is an missense mutation in the DNA

  • this mutation is a change in the genetic code from a G to an A

  • guanine (G) and adenosine (A) are two of the four building blocks of DNA


The second:

  • another missense mutation in the DNA

  • this mutation is a change in the genetice code from a G to a C

  • guamine (G) and cytosine (C) a third of the four building blocks of DNA


Therapeutic measures and symptom management


  • Physical Therapy to help mobility, flexibility and balence

  • Occupational therapy to improve muscle tone and assist with activities of daily living

  • Speech therapy to assist with speech

  • Regular daily excercise to help with muscle and joints flexibility and improve overall health and well-being.


Athanassiadou, Aglaia et al. 1997. Mutation in the alpha-synuclein Gene Identidied in Families with Parkinson’s Disease. Science. 276 (5321) 2045-2047.


Parkinson’s Society of Canada. 2009. What is Parkinson`s retrived April 17, 2009 from



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