Learn About Parkinson's
Many are familiar with the hallmark physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease - the tremors and difficulties with movement. What may be unfamiliar are the neuropsychiatric impairments that accompany the brain degeneration wrought as Parkinson’s progresses.
What is Parkinson's?
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder which develops when a group of cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra (see the above figure, courtesy of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke - NINDS) begin to malfunction and die; these cells are responsible for the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that sends information to the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination. As the dopamine-producing cells die and the level of dopamine in the brain decreases, messages from the brain telling the body how and when to move are slowed more and more, rendering the person unable to initiate and control movement normally.
Additional Resources to Learn More
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) offers more information on Parkinson's on its website. Click here to be connected.
- American Parkinson Disease Association
- National Parkinson Foundation
- Parkinson Alliance
- Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
- Parkinson's Action Network (PAN)
- Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF)
- Parkinson's Institute
- Parkinson's Resource Organization
- WE MOVE (Worldwide Education & Awareness for Movement Disorders)
- Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation
- The Society for Neuroscience's website offers Brain Briefings which are two-page newsletters explaining how basic neuroscience discoveries lead to clinical applications. There are two specifically related to Parkinson's: