James Parkinson was a general practitioner in London and during his medical work he saw six patients with a new disease. He described this condition as the “Shaking Palsy” and also proposed a Latin synonym “Paralysis Agitans”.
His description of the shaking palsy was accurate and captured the essence of the disease. Therefore, the famous French neurologist Charcot proposed that the shaking palsy be called Parkinson’s disease after him.
Among the common neurological diseases known to science, Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common conditions. Parkinson’s disease happens when there is a problem with certain nerve cells in the brain. Normally, these nerve cells make an important chemical called dopamine. Dopamine sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement. In Parkinson’s patients, 80 percent or more of these dopamine-producing cells are damaged, dead, or otherwise degenerated. Mostly patients suffering from Parkinson’s are unable to control their movements.
Following Symptoms are normally observed in Parkinson’s patients
- Tremor or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face
- Stiffness of Muscles
- Slowness of movement
- Postural instability
There is no particular test that can be done to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is even more difficult to diagnose in the early stages, when there are less symptoms. It includes symptoms like trembling, trouble with writing, and changes in gait. Younger people may also not be diagnosed until a later stage as the disease mainly affects older people.