Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common illnesses that can affect a person’s brain. These types of diseases are referred to as neurodegenerative because they cause death to the cells that make up the brain and therefore impair its function. The part of the brain most affected by Parkinson’s disease is a region called the substantia nigra, the part of the brain responsible for making dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain, also called a neurotransmitter, that plays a major role in controlling the body’s movements. When these cells are killed by Parkinson’s disease, the body is unable to maintain control of its movements which is the reason patients with Parkinson’s disease tend to have tremors, bradykinesia, and dyskinesia, characteristic indicators of Parkinson’s disease.

Location of Substantia Nigra (dopamine producing cells) and maps of pathways involving dopamine

Location of Substantia Nigra (dopamine producing cells) and maps of pathways involving dopamine

Chemical Structure of Dopamine

Chemical Structure of Dopamine

There is no single cause for Parkinson’s disease, but rather can be caused fom random changes, called mutations, to a person’s DNA or even can be attributed to inheriting genes that are predisposed to cause Parkinson’s from your parents. Despite the unknown causes of the disease, there are several different treatments being used to treat the symptoms of the disease even though there is currently no cure. Some of the methods used are medications that target different steps of the pathway that leads to the death of the dopaminergic cells and shortage of dopamine. Since dopamine is deficient, treatments try to increase dopamine in the brain in a few different ways. Some add more chemicals that can be made into dopamine whereas others reduce the breakdown of existing dopamine. No one treatment is necessarily more beneficial for patients than another and all options should be discussed with a doctor before beginning treatment.


History and Metabolic Context – Parkinson’s Disease

Molecular Bases of the Disease State – Parkinson’s Disease

Treatments and Disease Management – Parkinson’s Disease

Conclusions and Proposals for Future Work – Parkinson’s Disease

10 Replies to “Parkinson's Disease”

  1. I thought that this cover page did a good of presenting Parkinson’s in a clear, concise manner. The way you funneled down from general neurodengerative disease to affected neural areas to biochemical causes was particularly well done. There could be a few areas for clarification, however. A primer link to bradykinesia and dyskinesia would be good because those are not very intuitive. Also, the sentence in the second paragraph “Such techniques…many more” is a bit dense. You might consider breaking that up into a few sentences and expanding on it (e.g. how is the destruction of dopamine being reduced?). The figures are good, but should be linked to the text. They are a bit isolated currently. I know these suggestions are a bit nitpicky, but that is because I thought that this was very clear overall.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Matt! I agree that I should make definitions readily available to readers, especially since they are so similar, yet different. Thanks for taking the time to read my page!

  2. Parkinson’s Disease is a complex ailment for sure. This page adequately portrays the basic symptoms while stressing that the cause and treatment of the disease are still uncertain and highly variable amongst patients. Overall, a focused and concise page for someone unfamiliar with the disease.

    1. Thanks for your input, Matt! Parkinson’s really is highly complex and not well understood but I’m glad I was able to relatively effectively communicate the background of the disease!

  3. I think that the cover page did a decent job describing Parkinson’s Disease in an informative but simple manner. The page does do a good job informing the reader about the unknown aspects in the causes and the lack of a cure at the current.

    1. Thanks, Max! I’m glad you found it accessible, it was definitely tough to articulate it effectively since there are so many unknowns.

  4. I think that the background of this disease is laid out well as well as a description of the symptoms and possible treatments of this disease. The methods of the homepage make sense to me the way they are presented almost making them sound “mysterious”. I was wondering if there were any specific mutations seen consistently in the literature with regard to this disease? Maybe a link to an article from this homepage could be beneficial to leading the reader to see the problem (even if it’s a source saying that it is random mutations the primary source might have some good impact). Otherwise, I think that this cover page is very good, and I am interested to hear more of the disease.

    1. Thanks, Mark! After I went back and re-read that sentence, it does seem a little dense, I’ll be sure to go back and make it more smooth. Thanks for taking the time to read my page!

  5. The Parkinson’s overall presentation does a good job outlining the disease and expressed current thinking on suspected triggers. While I am not a medical person, I understand that kinesia has to something do with movement. Dyskinesia would indicate unable or bad movement but am unaware what bradykinesia means. A brief reference for both would be helpful.

  6. Thanks for your comment, Jan! I’ve realized that may be confusing to someone without a heavy medical background, I’ll be sure to go back and explain both terms better! Thanks for reading my page!

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