Parkinson's Disease

Overview

More than one million people in the United States are living with the neurodegenerative ravages of Parkinson's disease. This disease, which typically hits people past the age of 65, is progressive, gradually stripping away motor abilities, leaving people with a slow and awkward gait, rigid limbs, tremor, shuffling and a lack of balance.

No one knows what causes Parkinson's. Most cases arise spontaneously; some are hereditary. What is known is that brain cells in the area of the brain called the "substantia nigra" die off. These are the cells which manufacture the molecule dopamine, a chemical that helps control muscle movement.

Thanks to recent advances in the lab, including the pinpointing of several Parkinson's genes, research is exploding. Scientists are now picking apart newly discovered biochemical pathways involved in the disease and uncovering new targets for therapy.

Basics

Treatments, Tests and Therapies

Wellness and Prevention