PARKINSON’S DISEASE: WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW
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Shake, rattle and roll, much of the population can relate to this classic line from a hit of days gone by but for a Parkinson’s disease (PD) patient the shakes and rattles are not fun. Parkinson’s disease is a serious issue and a major cause of death within the United States, ranked the fourteenth, and even as such is still one of the least understood common causes of death. Recently, with celebrities such as Michael J. Fox, Muhammad Ali, and Billy Graham being diagnosed with this disease, the condition has been thrust into the spotlight and has become a major topic of research the world over. With the recent evidence we now know that while there is no known cure for Parkinson’s it is controllable. The purpose of this essay is not only to discuss what exactly Parkinson’s disease is but also potential treatment methods and thoughts about living life with the disease. As of yet there are over one million individuals in the United States suffering from this disease. It is imperative that we become educated about this serious condition facing so many of those around us in order to better facilitate research and understanding of this condition facing and challenging so many of those around us.
The first step for many is to simply understand what exactly Parkinson’s disease is. Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurologic disorder associated with the degeneration of dopamine-producing cells in the substania nigra (Duncan & Earhart, 2010). In non-scientific terms Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive motor skill disorder that attacks the brain. Parkinson’s Disease only gets worse with time if not caught and properly controlled. Studies show that Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of nerve cells vital to the brain ("What is parkinson’s," ). Many doctors and experts believe that PD can be caused by a combination of things; like...