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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

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Parkinson's Disease (parkinson's)
Photo: Parkinson's Disease Definition: A progressive, degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by muscle tremors, muscle rigidity, decreased mobility, stooped posture,slow voluntary movements, a mask-like facial expression, and often dementia.

Parkinson's disease is correlated with the death of nerve cells containing the neurotransmitter dopamine in a specific area of the brain; the cause of nerve cell death is unknown.

Please note: This page exists only to collect and aggregate the studies related to Parkinson's Disease. It is not meant to diagnose or recommend treatments. Consult with your health practitioner before undertaking ANY course of action contained within these pages.

Modern treatments are effective at managing the early motor symptoms of the disease, mainly through the use of levodopa and dopamine agonists. As the disease progresses and dopaminergic neurons continue to be lost, these drugs eventually become ineffective at treating the symptoms and at the same time produce a complication called dyskinesia, marked by involuntary writhing movements.

Diet and some forms of rehabilitation have shown some effectiveness at alleviating Parkinson's symptoms. Among the treatments are light therapy (specifically low-level laser therapy), vitamin K, and tai chi.

Surgery and deep brain stimulation have been used to reduce motor symptoms as a last resort in severe cases where drugs are ineffective. Research directions include investigations into new animal models of the disease and of the potential usefulness of gene therapy, stem cell transplants and neuroprotective agents.

Medications to treat non-movement-related symptoms of PD, such as sleep disturbances and emotional problems, also exist.

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