The world over, Parkinson’s disease has affected many people’s lives in one way or another. Whether it has a stricken a beloved celebrity, a loved one or you yourself, it’s almost certain that you have asked yourself several questions about this debilitating illness, including what causes Parkinson’s disease and how it can be prevented.
This disease is usually caused by the continuous deterioration or impairment of nerve cells in the brain in a certain area called the substantia nigra which causes people to shake and have spasms. When functioning properly, these cells produce a chemical known as dopamine which facilitates communication between the substantia nigra and corpus striatum without which results in abnormal nerve functioning.
This then makes movement all the more difficult in addition to walking and coordination. Without medication, controlling this disease is almost impossible. Thus, as it progresses, a person’s health also degenerates causing increased difficulties.
In as much as this disease has been the central focus for most researchers for decades now, there is still no definitive or clear answer as to why it occurs. Scientists hold the view that the start of the disease is usually brought about by a combination of different factors such as genetic mutations, environmental factors and illnesses. With reports indicating that the majority of people who get Parkinson’s disease are usually about 60 years old and above, it is believed that aging also has a role to play. However, all situations are quite different since all individuals are unique.
Scientists also believe that oxidative stress also plays a role in its occurrence which causes damage to the neurons and tissues of the brain.
Parkinson’s disease and genetics
Surprisingly, many of those who have Parkinson’s disease appear to not have inherited this disease despite there being an inclination to believe that inheritance is one of the causing factors. It’s estimated that only as few as 25% of patients have a family member who also has the condition with instances of gene mutations believed to be its cause for those patients. Despite this, majority of the cases do not show this relationship. This means that even though there is someone in your family who has the disorder, it does not mean that you will be stricken with it.
Parkinson’s disease and the environment
From recent studies conducted, it is believed that exposure to environmental toxins such as insecticides could also have a factor to play in its cause. However, research has not been able to show a conclusive relationship between the two. This shows that ideally there is no single factor which is to blame for its occurrence. Thus, despite being exposed to some form of toxins at whichever stage of your life, it does necessarily mean that you will get Parkinson’s disease.
What is its impact on illness and injuries?
There are instances in which illness and injury are also believed to bring about this condition. This is particularly so for patients who have had a brain illness or injury. Whether caused by some form of a blow to the head or a prolonged fever, trauma to the brain often triggers various complications. Although not definitive, Parkinson’s disease could be one of them.
What people should realize is that Parkinson’s disease is not certain for anyone. Thus, you should try to protect yourself from toxins, eat foods which are good for the body and brain, also live a healthy lifestyle. More so, ensuring that you avoid any head injuries will go a long way in avoiding this disease.