Parkinson’s disease and dopamine- Introduction, characteristic, symptom and management

parkinson's disease and dopamine

Introduction to Parkinson’s disease

Grandma is 60years old, she gets weak easily and she’s always shaky, we laugh at her most times, and wish to never grow old. It’s so funny that sometimes grandma tends to stay in a position for about 30seconds without moving. However, Peter’s Grandma is about 70years old, but she doesn’t exhibit all these characteristics. Then what is wrong with Grandma?

Old age is something we can’t run away from, it’s inevitable, and it’s accompanied by weakness, and a lot of other unwanted disorders, but these disorders are seen in not all aged people( geriatrics).

So rather than concluding that your parents, grandparents etc are too old, why don’t you take them for a test to see what’s actually wrong. They could be one of the strong aged people, just that a disorder was ignored, which could have been treated. Today I’ll be talking about a disorder that happens majorly to the geriatrics, I tag it PDD.


What’s Parkinson’s disease and dopamine

PDD Is an acronym for Parkinson’s disease and dopamine.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder(disorders characterized by the progressive and irreversible loss of neurones from specific regions of the brain).

PD belongs to a group of neurodegenerative disorders called movement disorders.

In PD there’s a loss of neurones from the basal ganglia resulting in an abnormally during movement. Since movements are generally controlled by neurotransmitters released by the brain, the neurotransmitter affected in PD is dopamine.

A large portion of dopamine content of the brain is found in the corpus striatum and in parts of the limbic system.

The primary symptoms are as a result of decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia, normally caused by insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurones in the brain.

PD is both chronic and progressive. By chronic I mean it’s a disorder that occurs long term, and by progressive I mean the conditions worsen with times. PD was first described by James Parkinson in 1817 as shaky palsy or paralysis agitans.



In patients who died due to PD, the dopamine content of the substantia nigra and corpus striatum (<10% of the normal content), and also most dopaminergic neurones were dead.

Other neurotransmitters such as 5-HT(serotonin) and noradrenaline were also affected, they were reduced but to a lesser degree to dopamine. Acetylcholine concentration also increased.

PD is often with no known cause (idiopathic) and it’s not hereditary. There are far fewer causes of PD(head trauma, drugs, toxins, cerebral anoxia).



There are four cardinal SYMPTOMs of PD they are:


Involuntary movement of the limbs, it occurs majorly at rest, maximum when the limb is at rest and disappearing with movement and sleep. Initially, most sufferers do not show this tremor in the beginning, but they’ll develop it along the course of the disease. It’s a protonation-supination tremor.



This is joint stiffness, and increased muscle tone, in combination with resting tremor. It produces a ratchet, ‘cogwheel rigidity’ when the limb is passively moved. It may also be associated with joint pain, and this pain is usually frequent.



Bradykinesia means a reduced movement, whole AKINESIA is no movement at all. PD patients have a problem with moving, they even have problems with the thought of moving. The performance of the movement sequence is also inhibited.


4.Postural instability.

Other symptoms include Fatigue, gait and posture disturbances, hypophonia(soft speech and monotonic speech), Turning en Bloc, gait freezing, speech and swallowing disturbances, destination.



PD is a chronic disorder that requires broad-based management including patient and family education, support group services, general wellness maintenance, physiotherapy, exercise, and nutrition.

At present, there is no cure for PD, but medications or surgery can provide relief from the symptoms.


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