What does Parkinson's Do?
Parkinson's patients first experience non-motor symptoms, or symptoms relating to the mind and its function. Some of these symptoms include depression, trouble with memory, misplacing of objects, and confusion. In later stages, these symptoms go from relatively mild to extremely severe. Some Parkinson's patients aren't able to function and think properly without assistance from others.
Motor symptoms arise after non-motor symptoms. Parkinson's patients may experience muscle spasms and involuntary limb movements. As time progresses, usually ten to twenty years, both motor and non-motor symptoms become more destructive and detrimental to a person's ability to live their life.
What causes Parkinson's?
The area of the brain where the Dopamine deficiency is focused.
Parkinson's Disease is caused by a deficiency in Dopamine production in the brain. This deficiency is focused on the area of the brain called the Substantia Nigra that is thought to control some aspects of movement. That is why Parkinson's patients experience issues in their movement and muscle spasms.
Ancient Egyptian pyramid.
Parkinson's or Parkinson's-like ailments have been mentioned in many ancient texts. These texts include Sanskrit writings dating back to 2500 B.C., the first Chinese medical textbook, Huangdi Neijing, dating back to 300 B.C., an Ancient Egyptian papyrus mentioning a king with stiff, tremor-like fits of muscle spasm, and a work by inventor-scientist-artist Leonardo Da Vinci on the "Shaking Palsy". In Da Vinci's study, he wrote as a description, “nerves sometimes operate by themselves without any command from other functioning parts or the soul.” The first formal recognition and study of Parkinson's was in 1817 in James Parkinson's An Essay on the Shaking Palsy. James Parkinson's research was so perceptive and accurate for its time, physicians today still refer to it for notes and statistics. Hence the name Parkinson's Disease.