Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a chronic disorder that affects the nervous system and hinders one's ability to move. Named after Dr. James Parkinson, who first observed the syndrome in 1817, this slowly progressing disease can start with an innocuous, hardly recognizable tremor in one's hand. With time, a gradual loss of nerve cells that produce dopamine occurs, leading to a loss of motor movements. Dopamine helps to regulate our physical motion, so a drop in this chemical's levels results in a resting tremor, general slowness, and stiffness of the limbs. Additional physical manifestations of this disease can include difficulty with handwriting, minimal facial expression, hushed speech, and trouble swallowing. Parkinson’s can be suitably treated with specific medication, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, surgery.

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