ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Parkinson's Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prognosis

Updated on February 7, 2013
Tremors | Source
Shuffling Gait
Shuffling Gait | Source
Hunched shoulders
Hunched shoulders | Source
Decreased Brain Activity
Decreased Brain Activity | Source

Joan Whetzel

Not long ago, Michael J. Fox made public his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. This debilitating disease is taking its toll on his health as it does all those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. For those who have a loved one recently diagnosed with this disease, it helps to find out all you can about the causes, symptoms, treatments, and prognosis.

What Is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's diseases affects gross motor skills due to a degenerative problem involving a specific set of brain cells. Normally the affected nerve cells produce dopamine, a brain chemical responsible for sending signals the area of the brain regulates movement, allowing muscles to move however and whenever you want. Parkinson’s causes these cells to stop working, to stop producing dopamine. Without the dopamine, the person with Parkinson’s begins to suffer a progressive decline in the ease of movement.

Causes of Parkinson's Disease

The specific causes of Parkinson’s are unknown at this down, though research is ongoing. Suspected causes are aging, environmental toxins, head trauma, illness, and genetics. Men are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to suffer from Parkinson’s than women.

Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

The primary symptoms Parkinson’s disease include: tremors of the hands, arms, or legs; stiff muscles; slow shuffling movement, difficulty with walking and balance. The tremors are usually the first sign that something is wrong. Another significant sign of Parkinson’s is what is referred to as the Parkinson’s gait, which appears as a stooped, shuffling gait.

Most people suffering from Parkinson’s exhibit tremors, though not all have this symptom. As the disease progresses, it begins affecting muscles throughout the body and begin causing difficulty with swallowing and with constipation. Secondary symptoms of the disease includes a fixed expression, speech problems, anxiety, confusion,

Most people begin exhibiting symptoms between the ages of 50 and 60, though in some people it occurs later. A few people, like Michael J. Fox, suffer early onset Parkinson’s.

Treatments for Parkinson's Disease

Currently, Parkinson’s Disease cannot be cured, but there are medications that can treat the symptoms and make living with the disease a bit easier. Mild symptoms are usually not treated, however. Medications are withheld until symptoms begin to interfere with daily life and can be adjusted as symptoms worsen.

The best medication for the job is called L-dopa (or Levadopa), bromocriptine, pramipexole, ropinirole, or dopamine, though there may be side effects with long-term high doses. Another treatment called deep brain stimulations works well for some patients. Deep brain stimulation involves wires surgically inserted into the brain. These electrical leads are attached to a small device that sends electrical signals to the affected areas of the brain, helping them function better. Stem cell therapy may also be considered. If this is something you and your affected family member might consider, talk to your physician.

At home therapies can help Parkinson’s patients maintain as independent a life as possible. These include a well balanced diet, plenty of rest, using one’s energy in the wisest, shrewdest ways possible, and daily exercise, as well as physical and occupational therapy.

Prognosis for Parkinson's Disease Sufferers

Parkinson’s is a long-term, slowly progressive disease. There are no cures; only treatments. Since it progresses so slowly, most people can continue working for quite a while after being diagnosis. Slow progression also allows time for sufferers to learn to adapt to their symptoms and increasing limited mobility. Parkinson’s Disease also shorten life expectancy.


Wikipedia. Parkinson's Disease.

WebMD. Parkinson's Disease.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Parkinson's Disease.

Medicine Net. Parkinson's Disease.

Wikipedia. The Hoehn and Yahr Scale.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • stephanieb27 profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Informative hub! My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's a few years back and frequently deals with the hand tremors.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)