|Treatment of Parkinson's Disease|
|Life Sciences - Life Science Article|
|Written by Debjit Bhowmik|
|Friday, 22 May 2009|
RECENT TRENDS IN DRUGS USED FOR TREATMENT OF PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Parkinson's disease is a disease of the nervous system that causes people to lose control over their muscles. About one in every 250 people over the age of 40, and about one in every 100 people aged 65 or older, are affected by Parkinson's disease. Although the average age of onset is 57, Parkinson's occasionally appears in childhood. Men are more likely to develop Parkinson's than women. In itself, Parkinson's is not a fatal condition.
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However, the end-stage of the disease can lead to pneumonia, choking, severe depression, and death. Parkinson's disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks.
PD usually affects people over the age of 50. Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually. In some people the disease progresses more quickly than in others. As the disease progresses, the shaking, or tremor, which affects the majority of PD patients may begin to interfere with daily activities. Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions.
There are currently no blood or laboratory tests that have been proven to help in diagnosing sporadic PD. Therefore the diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination. The disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately. Doctors may sometimes request brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases. At present, there is no cure for PD, but a variety of medications provide dramatic relief from the symptoms. Usually, patients are given levodopa combined with carbidopa. Carbidopa delays the conversion of levodopa into dopamine until it reaches the brain. Nerve cells can use levodopa to make dopamine and replenish the brain's dwindling supply. Although levodopa helps at least three-quarters of parkinsonian cases, not all symptoms respond equally to the drug. Bradykinesia and rigidity respond best, while tremor may be only marginally reduced. Problems with balance and other symptoms may not be alleviated at all. Anticholinergics may help control tremor and rigidity. Other drugs, such as bromocriptine, pramipexole, and ropinirole, mimic the role of dopamine in the brain, causing the neurons to react as they would to dopamine. An antiviral drug, amantadine, also appears to reduce symptoms. In May 2006, the FDA approved rasagiline to be used along with levodopa for patients with advanced PD or as a single-drug treatment for early PD.
A disorder associated with damage to a part of the brain that controls muscle movement characterised by shaking and difficulty with walking, movement, and co-ordination.Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic neurological condition named after Dr. James Parkinson, a London physician who was the first to describe the syndrome in 1817. It is a slowly progressive disease that affects a small area of cells in the mid-brain that controls muscle movement known as the substantia nigra. Gradual degeneration of these cells causes a reduction in a vital chemical known as dopamine which is one of the substances used by cells to transmit impulses (transmitters), and which is normally produced in this area. The exact reason that the cells of the brain deteriorate is unknown. Insufficient dopamine disturbs the balance between dopamine and other transmitters, such as acetylcholine. Without dopamine, the nerve cells cannot properly transmit messages, and this results in the loss of muscle function. The disorder may affect one or both sides of the body, with varying degrees of loss of function, and can produce one or more of the classic signs of Parkinson's disease:
1.resting tremor on one side of the body;
2. generalized slowness of movement (bradykinesia);
3. stiffness of limbs (rigidity); and
4. gait or balance problems (postural dysfunction).
Parkinson's affects both men and women of all races and is one of the most common neurologic disorders of the elderly. It most often (85% cases) develops after age 50 and so is generally considered a disease which targets older adults.
It affects approximately 2 out of 1,000 people, but one of every 100 persons (1%) over the age of 60. It is estimated that up to 1.5 million N. Americans are affected, more persons than those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy combined. Parkinson's disease is rare in children, and when present appears to be due to decreased sensitivity of the nerves to dopamine rather than deterioration of the area of the brain that produces dopamine. Thanks to increased awareness, public health strides and healthier lifestyle choices, many people now live well into their eighties, and while there is as yet no cure for this condition, progressive treatments allow many patients to maintain a high level of function throughout their lifetimes. It is important to note that Parkinson's disease is not in itself a fatal illness. Parkinson's disease is a disease of the nervous system that causes people to lose control over their muscles. About one in every 250 people over the age of 40, and about one in every 100 people aged 65 or older, are affected by Parkinson's disease. Although the average age of onset is 57, Parkinson's occasionally appears in childhood. Men are more likely to develop Parkinson's than women. In itself, Parkinson's is not a fatal condition. However, the end-stage of the disease can lead to pneumonia, choking, severe depression, and death. Although the brain cells that control movement (the motor neurons) are located along the top of the brain, they rely on a chemical called dopamine that's manufactured in the stem of the brain (the basal ganglia).
The whole 12 pages article is available for download at Downloads section of Farmavita.NetRead also at Pharmaceutical Licensing Network
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