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Learn About Parkinson's

En Espanol: Enfermedad de ParkinsonMany 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.

Location of the substantia nigra in the brainWhat 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

Enfermedad de Parkinson: Esperanza en la Investigacion