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What is the cause of Parkinson’s Disease?

The exact cause of Parkinson’s Disease is not fully understood. Parkinson’s Disease results when an important neurotransmitter in the brain (dopamine) is depleted or reaches critically low levels. With normal aging there is a measurable decline in the amounts of dopamine. It is believed that this age related decline may be “Accelerated” in certain individuals by possibly outside, environmental “Insults” or neurotoxins. The search for a comprehensive explanation for the disease process, however, continues.

What medications are used to treat Parkinson’s Disease?

A variety of medications are used in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. Ideally these medications are “Tailored” to fit the stage of the disease and the foremost symptoms or signs the patient may demonstrate.

These medications are generally categorized into three categories:

Are there any surgical treatments for Parkinson’s Disease?

There are two operations that benefit some patients whose Parkinson’s Disease is not well controlled with medications. Ventrolateral thalamotomy can be performed when tremor is disabling while Posteroventral Pallidotomy may help patients where other abnormal limb movements, intolerance to medication, and difficulty initiating movements are the primary problems. These techniques use sophisticated computer guidance to allow the surgeon to create a small hole in these structures deep inside the brain.