Parkinson’s disease causes

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. This disease afflicts people all over the world and is not confined to any certain race however it is more prevalent in Caucasians. It is usually found in the elderly. There are approximately four million people who have this disease globally. In the United States there is approximately 1 to ½ million people with this debilitating condition. This disease affects the individual’s motor skills and their ability to walk, talk and do simple tasks. At the present time there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease.

For most people Parkinson’s disease causes are unknown. However, some common suspected causes for most people are genetic, toxins, head trauma, cerebral anoxia, and drug-induced Parkinson’s disease.

There have been recent discoveries that suggest that a certain gene mutation may be one of the Parkinson’s disease causes. It is thought that people who have a relative with Parkinson’s disease may be at a higher risk for developing this disease, but the disorder is not specifically known to be passed down genetically. The discovered gene mutation that may put people at higher risk for Parkinson’s disease is the glucocerebrosidase gene. This gene mutation is also involved in Gaucher’s Disease. It is now known that people who have this gene mutation have an increased risk for developing Parkinson’s. This gene mutation may also play a factor in Alzheimer’s disease as well.

Another theory about Parkinson’s disease causes is that of exposure to toxins. This is because it has been noted that there are concentrated geographical areas that have larger numbers of people with Parkinson’s disease than in other geographical areas. This means that Parkinson’s disease is not distributed homogeneously throughout the world. The exposures to toxins that are suspected include certain pesticides and certain metals like manganese and iron. Exposure to pesticides can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease by as much as 70%. People who live in the rural areas and who drink well water may be at a higher risk for exposure to agricultural chemicals and pesticide residue in their drinking water which may lead to a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease. The toxins used by drug addicts in certain drugs can be another one of Parkinson’s disease causes. Exposure to herbicides, fungicides and insecticides may also cause Parkinson’s disease in some people.

Head trauma is also thought to be among the varied Parkinson’s disease causes. Many of the people who have Parkinson’s disease report that they have had a past head trauma. A recent study has shown that people who have a past head injury are in fact, four times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than other people. A head trauma that requires hospitalization can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease eightfold. The risk increases eleven fold if it was a very severe head injury. However these statistics are not proof that head injuries are the cause of Parkinson’s disease.

According to the Mayo Clinic the symptoms of this disease may be caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain. Certain brain cells produce dopamine. If they are impaired or die off the level of dopamine in the brain may not be sufficient. However, it is not known what would cause this to happen yet and more research in this area needs to be done. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors or shaking, slowed motions when trying to walk or talk, rigid muscles, loss of balance, stooped posture, loss of automatic movements like blinking or smiling, changes in speech and dementia. You should consult with your doctor if you have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease for a correct diagnosis.

Last updated on Dec 22nd, 2010 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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