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The author of the article under review is Lisette K. Bunting Perry. It runs under the title ďPalliative Care in Parkinsonís Disease: Implications for Neuroscience NursingĒ being written in 2008 in The Neuroscience Nursing Journal.

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The article uses various strategies and methods to give more information on Parkinsonís disease, and describes its symptoms, causes, treatment and statistics.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease belongs to a group of diseases called motor system disorders, which impact a variety of body movements that become abnormal and neurological in nature. †It affects how a person moves, speaks and writes. It is a progressive disease, since its symptoms and effects worsen over time. Parkinson's patients lose more than a half of neutrons located in the substantia nigra. Besides, there is the degeneration of other cells of the brain, namely of those that produce dopamine required for movement. Thus, their loss is catastrophic. The damage or destruction of these cells is still the subject of many studies.

Symptoms

Most of the disease symptoms include involuntary and voluntary movements and motor dysfunctions. As experienced by many patients, it mostly starts in one part of the body and progresses to others. The symptoms are mild at first, and with time, they spread and become severe. They include tremor (major parts, such as fingers, jaws, arms, feet, legs and the head start trembling).

Movement. The patient experiences stiffness and rigidity in the limbs and trunk, and it becomes more difficult for one to move. Movements are accompanied by pain and muscle aches. Moreover, the patient will experience automated movements as the disease progresses.

Parkinsonian gait. The patient suffering from Parkinsonís disease will develop a certain gait like shuffling walk that is very distinct with a stooped position and a diminished arm swing or dementia. It is the loss of the brain function, mostly affecting thinking, language, judgment, and memory. It is usually noticed when the patient starts to forget things and changes his or her behavior or personality.

Instability. The patient experiences impairments or the loss of flexes, and this makes it very difficult for him or her to adjust posture in order to maintain balance. The disease has several secondary symptoms, such as male erectile dysfunction, anxiety, depression and constipation.

Causes

When the amount of the substance called dopamine that acts as a messenger between two brain areas is very low, it causes the motor symptoms of Parkinsonís disease. According to scientists, the disease may develop as a result of an unfavorable combination of genetic and environmental factors, or in other words internal †and external causes. Scientists believe that the former play an important role in the development of Parkinson's disease, however, it is difficult to determine how strong heredity is. People who work with herbicides and pesticides are more likely to develop the disease than others. However, scientists have not been able to establish a connection between one or another toxic substance and parkinsonism.

Treatment

There is no cure for Parkinsonís disease, and most available treatments merely delay the onset of motor problems in patients and increase the level of dopamine.

Levodopa. It is the most effective therapy for Parkinsonís disease: the substance called sinemet is converted into dopamine in the brain. However, this therapy has some side effects, since it is a long-term one accompanied by painful cramps and resistance to the drug.

Surgery. Surgery is also an option for those with advanced Parkinsonís disease to implant electrodes that stimulate a part of the brain responsible for movement.

Stem cells. It is the most recent explored treatment undertaken by patients, whereby dopamine is produced by stem cells. It is however under more research, being tested and evaluated. Massage therapy for sprains and physical therapy are also useful.

Statistics

There are one million people, who are believed to be affected by Parkinsonís disease in the United States of America, while five million are recorded to have its symptoms in the world. Adults of 60 years and above, especially those in their 80s, are the most vulnerable to it. The number of patients affected by the disease rises together with an increase in the overall expectancy.

Evaluation of the Article

The article gives figures and facts how many people are affected by Parkinsonís disease in the United States of America, enlightening the reader on its symptoms and occurrence. The author did not give the prognosis of the disease, as well as risk factors. However, it is a very clear and self-explanatory article, which can be understood by people of different ages.

It clearly outlines what Parkinsonís disease is all about, and its symptoms are explained and well-documented. The causes and their explanations are also well-outlined.

The article is very clear for everyone. The author provided detailed understandable information about this disease, and showed the reasons for it. The article is short and useful.

The author gave information very expressly. He distinctly emphasized symptoms, causes and treatment. The health assessment strategy was also clearly outlined. Thus, every individual can read this article to get the fullest information on the disease.

Conclusion

Parkinsonís disease is both chronic and progressive. Patients suffer a lot, as the symptoms are gradual and painful at the same time. Family and friends notice no expression on their face as well, and the symptoms tend to worsen, as the disease progresses. Over one million patients are recorded to have Parkinsonís disease in the United States, and about five million in the whole world. The most affected are adults, who have already hit 60 years and account for 1%, and 80-year old persons constituting 5%. The disease has such symptoms as tremor. The level of dopamine determines the stage, at which the patient is. Thus, when it is very low, the patient is at the final stage. Cure for the disease has not been found yet. Hence, most patients are given treatment to ease the symptoms and prolong their life. The article sheds light on the disease, and it is a very good for those doing research on this issue.

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