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Parkinson's Disease Causes

(Also Known As: Parkinsons Disease Causes, Parkinson’s Causes, Shaking Palsy Causes, Paralysis Agitans Causes)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are the causes of Parkinson’s disease?

PD is caused by the aforementioned abnormal motor effects which may be brought about by idiopathic factors or trauma causing lesions to the basal ganglia of the brain. This may be exhibited by the impaired function of the dopamine secreted by caudate nucleus and putamen. In this condition, the said hormone acts as an inhibitory transmitter which subsequently causes destruction of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, accordingly allowing the caudate and putamen to be excessively active. As a result of the malign cascade, continuous output of excitatory signals to the corticospinal motor control system occurs, thus overexciting the majority of the muscles in the body leading to rigidity. Tremors, on the other hand, are brought about by oscillation of feedback circuits due to high feedback gains after loss of their inhibition. These tremors, however, are unlike those manifested in cerebellar disease because they occur through all waking hours and is therefore called an involuntary tremor, in contradiction to cerebellar tremor, which only occurs when the patient performs intentionally initiated movements and therefore referred to as intention tremor. One of the major symptoms of Parkinson’s is akinesia which is considered the most distressing of all symptoms. This is because the patient is required to exert the highest degree of concentration just to perform the most simple of tasks. The mental effort necessary to perform the task is often at the limit of the patient’s will power. Despite many researches done, the causes of this symptom are still deemed speculative. However, there are observations that dopamine secretion in the limbic system, particularly in the nucleus accumbens, is frequently decreased, together with its decline in the basal ganglia. Through this inspection, a hypothesis has been suggested that this circumstance might reduce the psychic drive for motor activity resulting in akinesia. 4

Additional causes of PD may include:

  • Well water, exposure to herbicides and pesticides
  • Injection of the synthetic narcotic agent called MPTP (1-methyl4-phenyl-1,2,3, 6-tetrahydropyridine)
  • Head trauma or head injury

Could You Have Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease Topics

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