Parkinsons Disease Causes: Genetics, Environment, And Risk Factors

parkinsons cause

Experts estimate that it affects at least 1% of people over age 60 worldwide. Scientists believe a combination of genetic and environmental factors are the cause of Parkinson’s disease (PD). While no two people experience Parkinson’s the same way, there are some commonalities. Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications might significantly improve your symptoms.

When dopamine levels decrease, it causes irregular brain activity, leading to problems with movement and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Being aware of your own risk factors and any potential early symptoms can help you work with a healthcare professional to come up with his response a plan for diagnosis and treatment. Though treatments can help you manage Parkinson’s symptoms and improve your quality of life, a cure hasn’t yet been found. And more research is needed to identify the exact role that genetics and environment play in causing this disease.

Some people with Parkinson’s may experience changes in their cognitive function, including problems with memory, attention, and the ability to plan and accomplish tasks. Stress, depression, and some medications may also contribute to these changes in cognition. Many people with Parkinson’s disease note that prior to experiencing stiffness and tremor, they had sleep problems, constipation, loss of smell, and restless legs. While some of these symptoms may also occur with normal aging, talk with your doctor if these symptoms worsen or begin to interfere with daily living. In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.

Diet and certain forms of rehabilitation have shown some effectiveness at improving symptoms. Surgery to place microelectrodes for deep brain stimulation has been used to reduce severe motor symptoms where drugs are ineffective. Evidence for treatments for the non-movement-related symptoms of PD, such as sleep disturbances and emotional problems, is less strong. Dopamine fails to cross the blood brain barrier so it cannot be taken as a medicine to boost the brain’s depleted levels of dopamine.

The motor symptoms of the disease result from the nerve cell death in the substantia nigra, a midbrain region that supplies dopamine to the basal ganglia. The cause of this cell death is poorly understood but involves the aggregation of the protein alpha-synuclein into Lewy bodies within the neurons. Contributing factors include a learn here combination of genetic and environmental factors. Those with an affected family member are at an increased risk of getting the disease, with certain genes known to be inheritable risk factors. Environmental risks include exposure to pesticides and prior head injuries; a history of exposure to trichloroethylene is also suspected.

parkinsons cause

A precursor of dopamine, levodopa, can pass through to the brain where it is readily converted to dopamine. Administration of levodopa temporarily diminishes the motor symptoms of PD. Several symptoms advice are possible that aren’t connected to movement and muscle control. In years past, experts believed non-motor symptoms were risk factors for this disease when seen before motor symptoms.

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