What Is Known About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is the second most common neurological disease associated with aging. The disease is progressive, and affects approximately 1% of those Americans over 60. On a physiological level, we know that the very center of the brain, the basal ganglia, is involved in the development of Parkinson’s. The cells that produce dopamine begin to deteriorate, disrupting the normal balance between dopamine and acetylcholine.
For the person with Parkinson’s the brain changes make their voluntary movements slow, especially finding difficulty with the initiation of motion. At the beginning, the symptoms seem like normal variants of personal “tics” making diagnosis difficult, but symptom progression reveals the problem to be Parkinson’s. Early diagnosis is most likely in consultation with a physician experienced in making the diagnosis.