Parkinson’s disease is a common disease facing many older people across the world. It affects the central nervous system and it impairs cognitive processes, motor skills and other functions. This disease mostly affects the older generation and it manifests itself with symptoms which include rigidity, tremor, postural instability, slowness in movement and others. Other symptoms include sleep difficulties, sensory and autonomic dysfunction. Parkinson’s disease has a high prevalence rate among older people with approximately 500,000 people suffering from the disease in the United States. In addition, there are approximately 1 million people who suffer from the disease but they have not been diagnosed yet (Oxtoby et. al., …show more content…
The research findings showed that people suffering from Parkinson’s disease lose up to 70% of the brain’s dopamine levels (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2011). This finding was important since it enabled scientists to develop new ways of diagnosing the disease. They used PET imaging to measure dopamine levels and determine if one suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Stimulation of these patients also recorded improved motor functioning which is provides a basis for treating Parkinson’s patients.
In another research projected undertaken by the National Institute of Health, three families of Greek and Italian origins which suffered from Parkinson’s disease were studied. The scientists aimed at finding out if genetics is a causality of Parkinson’s disease. The research findings showed that in all families, there was a mutation of the gene alpha-synuclein. This finding proved to be important since it linked genetics to the development of Parkinson’s disease. It also encouraged scientists to further study the role of alpha-synuclein in development of Parkinson’s disease. Research findings on the impact of this gene may form the basis of developing a cure for the disease. However, further research on the disease is necessary in order to develop an effective cure.
Successful community based programs for Parkinson’s disease patients There are various successful programs which have been developed to