What is Parkinson’s; All you need to know about Parkinsons disease

Parkinsons disease was first discovered by a doctor in the 1800’s called Dr James Parkinson. He presented a paper in 1817 (An essay on the shaking palsy) whereby he was able to link up the tremors (or palsy) associated with the disease to disorders in the brain.

Research has dramatically progressed since the cause was first discovered, and though at the time of writing there is not yet a cure, it can very often be very well controlled for many years in most people.

One of the reasons a cure hasn’t been found is because there are so many factors to take into account as to what might cause it in the first place. These include hereditary, environmental and other factors.

Parkinsons disease is no respecter of wealth, or race, though it is found more in European types than those of African origin. Despite the fact that it is usually found in people aged above the age of 50 with the risk of contracting the disease increasing as you get older, many younger people have also developed the disease. It is also very widespread across the world, with approximately 150-200 cases per 1000,000 of the population. It should also be noted that men are more prone to develop the disease than women.

One interesting fact about parkinsons disease and something which may go a long way to discovering a cure is that scientists have discovered nine specific genetic defects which may cause the disease to run in families. Though the incidence of familial or hereditary Parkinson’s disease is comparatively rare, there are still a number of families where the incidence of the disease runs incredibly high for some members. If the linking mutant gene could be discovered, it would possibly be the spring board to discovering a cure.

It should be noted that having a family member or parent who does suffer from parkinsons disease does not automatically assume any siblings, children etc will also automatically develop it.

A favourite theory as to why this disease develops is linked to a combination of environmental toxins. Many modern toxins are known to cause specific diseases and though the link to Parkinson’s disease has yet to be proved, it does raise a strong suspicion. Toxins which are thought to be the culprits include pesticides and industrial metals.

There is also a school of thought that previous head trauma can also trigger Parkinson’s disease. There are many famous people who have developed this disease, one being the famous boxer Muhammad Ali. Obviously there is the probability that he would have developed the disease anyway, but many people have wondered whether the constant blows to his head were also a precipitating factor and aggravated any symptoms etc already there.