What is Parkinson's Disease?

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Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting primarily the patient’s motor function. The disease is characterized by rigidity, tremor at rest, bradykinesis, and decreased postural reflexes (Bollinger, Cowan, LaFontaine, Ronai, 2012). Parkinson disease was largely documented and brought to the forefront by James Parkinson, who published an article discussing the condition in 1817 (Lees, 2007). While great strides in understanding and treatment have been made, Parkinson disease is still considered an idiopathic disease (Lau & Breteler, 2006). Many areas of the disease process have been noted, but no one has been marked as the primary causative process, as well as little has been solidified in diagnostic procedures to identify Parkinson Disease in living patients. Parkinson disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, falling behind Alzheimer’s, and effects 340,000 People in the United States (Bollinger, Cowan, LaFontaine,& Ronai, 2012).

The disease process of Parkinson disorder is still unknown due to the difficulty of diagnosis and the complexity of the neurological disorder. However many factors have been identified pathology of Parkinson’s.
Basal Ganglia
The supporting cells of the central neurological system are the ganglia cells, basal is in reference to their location at the base of the cerebral hemispheres (Obeso, Rodríguez‐Oroz, Benitez‐Temino, Blesa, Guridi, Marin, & Rodriguez, 2008). The abnormalities of these cells are the most widely accepted, understanding the motor dysfunction found in patients suffering with Parkinson’s. These basal ganglia cells are innervated via the dopaminergic system, as well as their target locations such as the thalamus and bra...

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Obeso, J. A., Rodríguez‐Oroz, M. C., Benitez‐Temino, B., Blesa, F. J., Guridi, J., Marin, C., & Rodriguez, M. (2008). Functional organization of the basal ganglia: Therapeutic implications for parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders, 23(S3), S548-S559. doi:10.1002/mds.22062

Wakabayashi, K., Tanji, K., Odagiri, S., Miki, Y., Mori, F., & Takahashi, H. (2013). The lewy body in parkinson's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. Molecular Neurobiology, 47(2), 495.

Meireles, J., & Massano, J. (2012). Cognitive impairment and dementia in parkinson's disease: Clinical features, diagnosis, and management. Frontiers in Neurology, 3, 88.

Benabid, A. L., Chabardes, S., Mitrofanis, J., & Pollak, P. (2009). Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus for the treatment of parkinson's disease. Lancet Neurol, 8(1), 67-81. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70291-6

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