Parkinson’s Disease: Causes And Symptoms

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that is processed in nature. It occurs when nerve cells or neurons are unable to function properly.

What happens inside the body? 

Dopamine is a chemical that produces in the substantia nigra part of the midbrain. Dopamine facilitates the movement of smooth muscles of the body and monitors reward-seeking behavior. Parkinson’s disease develops due to the death of cells of substantia nigra. As the cells of substantia nigra degenerate, the production of dopamine in the body is reduced. Symptoms that associate with Parkinson’s disease arise after the dropping of dopamine production to 60-80 percent. Furthermore, reduced production of neurotransmitters and norepinephrine are also associated with Parkinson’s disease due to neural damage.

Parkinson’s disease can cause difficulties in walking, balancing, and moving the body in a coordinated manner. It makes the person’s body stiff and shaky. It also causes various mental and behavioral problems.

Causes of Parkinson’s Diseases 

Damage and death of nerve cells cause Parkinson’s disease. The coordinated movement of body muscles is impaired in this disorder due to the reduced production of dopamine. Here’s a list of various causes of Parkinson’s disease.

  1. Exposure to chemical toxins elevates the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
  2. Lewy bodies are the clumps that form due to certain substances in the brain cells. The presence of Lewy bodies is a potential cause of Parkinson’s disease.
  3. Various substances are found in Lewy bodies. But according to researchers, Alpha-synuclein is the main factor responsible for the development of this disease.
  4. Genetic mutations majorly influence this disease. In rare cases, gene mutations and variations are diagnosed in the person affected by Parkinson’s disease.
  5. Other potential causes of this disease include progressive brain conditions and cerebrovascular disease.

Risk factors that influence development of Parkinson’s Disease

  1. Men are at a greater risk of developing it during old age.
  2. Individuals above the age of 60 are more likely to develop the progressive neural disease than young adults.
  3. Individuals affected by head injuries are at a greater risk of developing the progressive neural disorder.
  4. Heredity majorly governs the development of Parkinson’s disease.
  5. A person exposed to toxins, herbicides, and pesticides is at a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease 

Parkinson’s disease causes improper coordination of smooth muscles leading to imbalance, memory loss, depression, excessive fatigue, and sleep problems. Here’s a list of symptoms associated with it.

  1. Shaking or tremors of limbs, hands, and fingers. The tremors in neural disease occur suddenly even when the person is resting.
  2. Muscle stiffness is very common in people who have Parkinson’s disease making it difficult and painful for them to move.
  3. As the disease processes, individuals experience difficulties while speaking. The person may speak too quickly, too slowly, hesitate or slur while speaking.
  4. Bradykinesia is another symptom of Parkinson’s disease. As the disease processes, individuals are unable to carry out simple tasks. For instance, not being able to get up from a chair, and not being able to walk.
  5. Affected individuals gradually face problems with balancing their bodies and tend to fall while walking or moving.

As the disease is progressive, individuals show severe symptoms causing a deterioration in their mental health and behavioral health. Hallucinations, high-level anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, psychosis, and difficulty in memory and attention are some of the severe symptoms that relate to Parkinson’s disease. The affected individuals show blank facial expressions, low-volume speech, decreases swallowing, reduced blinking, and muffled behaviors.

Stages Of Parkinson’s Disease 

Stage 1 

In this stage, no apparent symptoms are visible. The disease is present in the mildest form. It does not cause any interference with the daily tasks of the individual.

Stage 2 

It may take months or years for the disease to develop from stage 1 to stage 2. In Stage 2, moderate symptoms such as small tremors, little muscle stiffness, and trembling are visible in the person. However, changes in posture are visible during this stage.

Stage 3 

In stage 3, the symptoms are present in the elevated form. The person may find it extremely difficult to balance the body movement. In this, individuals take more time than usual while carrying out day-to-day tasks.

Stage 4 

Significant changes are visible during the transition of neural disease from stage 3 to stage 4. The affected person may experience greater difficulty while standing up without assisting devices. It is dangerous for people to live alone during stage 4.

Stage 5 

The final stage of this disease is highly destructive. The person experiences hallucinations, high-level anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, psychosis, confusion, and delusions during this stage.

Conclusion 

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that is processed in nature. It starts with the death of cells of substantia nigra leading to reduced production of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls coordinated body movement. Development of tremors, slow body movements, muscle stiffness, and balancing problems are visible in individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, the affected individuals show blank facial expressions, hallucinations, high-level anxiety, sleep disorders, psychosis, muffled behaviors, etc. Hence, genetic variations and environmental effects are the two major factors governing the development of Parkinson’s disease.

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