Parkinson's Disease Medial Essay

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MEDICAL ESSAY PARKINSON’S DISEASE Parkinson’s Disease (PD) affects thousands of people every year, so it is crucial to know its etiology, its signs and symptoms, its diagnosis, prognosis and its treatment. As many as one million Americans live with PD, which is more than the combined number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year and this number does not reflect the thousands of cases that go undetected. An estimate of seven to ten million people worldwide, are living with Parkinson’s disease. Incidence of PD increases with age but an estimated four percentage of people with Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed before the age of 50. Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women. Many researchers and disparate scientists have made great progress in unveiling the etiology of this mysterious disease. Etiology is the study of the cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition ("Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online," 2014). In PD, certain nerve cells, also known as neurons, gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to the loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. Dopamine is a compound present in the body as a neurotransmitter and a precursor of other substances including epinephrine ("Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online," 2014). When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity leading to signs of PD. The cause of PD is unknown but several factors appear to play a role including your genes. Researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that can cause Parkinson's disease but these are uncommon except in rare cases with many family members affected by Parkinson's disease. However, certain gene variations

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