Parkinson's Disease

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

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease have been known and treated since medieval times, most outstandingly by Averroes. In spite of this, the condition was not officially recognized and its symptoms were not duly documented until the British physician James Parkinson wrote. “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” in 1817, thus the disease was named after him. 1 Parkinson's disease was also known as paralysis agitans, as quoted by Jean-Martin Charcot. It is described as a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The underlying biochemical changes in the brain were identified in the 1950s largely due to the work of Swedish scientist Arvid Carlsson. This condition is manifested as an impairment of motor skills, speech, and other functions. Together with athetosis, hemiballismus and Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s is one of the clinical syndromes that arises from basal ganglia lesions. 2 More specifically, the condition is classified under a group of motor system disorders or movement disorders which results from widespread destruction of a portion of sunstantia nigra, referred to as the pars compacta. The latter sends dopamine-secreting nerve fibers to the caudate nucleus and the putamen. Therefore, the loss or damage of the dopamine-producing brain cells brings about the disease. 3

Could You Have Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease Topics

Related Conditions

Alzheimers Disease – senile dementia, dementia, aging, degenerative disorder, cognitive disorder, declining memory