Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating condition which affects the brain and its ability to control movement. While it typically occurs in elderly people, it’s also found in younger adults. Regardless of how old you are when you develop Parkinson’s, it can significantly reduce your overall quality of life.
While what causes this condition is still a mystery, experts know the symptoms are a result of gradual degeneration in the nerve cells which control movement. For many, the first signs can be as innocuous as mild stiffness or acute hand tremors.
Movement is controlled by the basal ganglia, which requires a delicate balance of chemicals to send signals to the body. Experts believe Parkinson’s causes the degeneration of cells which provide some of these substances, throwing off the overall balance. The full extent of this relationship is still being researched, but evidence indicates that Parkinson’s may be related to other neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Huntington’s disease, and more.
According to experts, the precise cause of the vast majority of Parkinson’s cases is unknown; However, they do have some leads. One of the primary risk factors for Parkinson’s disease we know is genetics. While not all cases have a genetic component, many do. Other causes are things as varied as viral infections or even exposure to toxins, such as carbon monoxide.
While not an extremely common condition, it does affect a significant number of people worldwide. Sixty thousand people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every year in America, with an estimated 10 million affected around the globe.
If you’re worried you or a loved one may be experiencing the early signs of Parkinson’s disease, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Only a professional can properly diagnose and treat conditions such as Parkinson’s