Parkinson's Disease Explained.

01/20/2012 01:38

The disease is characterized by a gradual loss of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for movement.  We are all familiar with the Parkinson’s tremors made famous by MJ Fox, but there is much more to the disease than these worsening tremors. The disease affects people with Parkinson’s in different ways and some may not even experience the tremors, such as my Uncle.  These folks experience a gradual lack of movement, mostly characterized by a sudden onset of muscle stiffness.  People experiencing this type of Parkinson's can easily be mistaken for being drunk if they are out in public when the symptoms of the disease begin to take over.  This is because when the onset of muscle stiffness occurs, it is characterized by the following symptoms: a slow shuffling gait, slurred speech, impaired balance, a decrease in automatic and fine motor skills such as blinking and arm swing while walking.   Also they may experience a lack of facial expression.  These symptoms occur just before doing down (to the floor) completely stiff for hours.  When this happens, they wait for the meds to kick in to become semi back to 'normal' only to experience the whole process again and again and again...  The process repeats countless times a day and throughout the night, and ultimately gets worse over time.  Everyday tasks are difficult. 

Not only does Parkinson’s affect only the person with the disease but the immediate family of the diseased person.  Not only does my Uncle have the disease, but so do his wife and son, because they are faced with the effects of the disease each day. 

Also, regarding Parkinson’s, not only are there physical effects but a huge part of the disease are the emotional aspects.  Like my Uncle has long said, “the physical aspects of the disease are quickly understood, I know I can’t do one thing or another, but rather the emotional (psychological, mental, and spiritual) aspects of the disease are the tougher of the two (physical vs. emotional) aspects to handle.”  Dementia is bound to develop and of course depression is a given for this incredibly frustrating disease.  Current medicines and surgery only help to slow the progress of Parkinson’s.  Fight against!  Fight against and stay strong, my Uncle!

To learn more about ways you can help the fight against Parkinson's  please visit my fund raising page and help us find a cure.


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