Parkinson’s disease is a common and progressive brain disorder that affects many people around the world. In the United States, about 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Although we don’t know exactly why it happens, some things can increase the chances of getting Parkinson’s disease. These include getting older, having a family history of the disease, and being exposed to certain harmful substances in the environment. In this article, we will explain the causes, symptoms, and treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Whether you are someone with the disease, a caregiver, or just curious to learn more, this information will be helpful to you.
Causes of Parkinson’s Disease
The exact causes of Parkinson’s disease are not completely known. However, scientists believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors plays a role. Some people may have certain genes that increase their chances of developing the disease. Additionally, exposure to certain environmental factors, like toxins or chemicals, might also contribute to the development of Parkinson’s in some individuals. While more research is needed to fully understand the causes, these factors are believed to be involved in the development of the condition.
Types of Parkinson’s Disease
Information about the different types of Parkinson’s disease can be overwhelming. To make it easier to understand, we’ve created this table which explains which types of Parkinson’s disease there are and what their prevalence is.
|Parkinson’s Disease Types
|Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease
|The most common type of Parkinson’s disease, with no known specific cause.
|The most prevalent type; affects the majority of cases
|Parkinson’s Disease with Lewy Bodies
|Characterized by the presence of abnormal protein deposits called Lewy bodies in the brain, which can lead to both movement and cognitive problems.
|Accounts for approximately 10-15% of cases
|Parkinson’s Disease due to Genetic Mutations
|Caused by specific genetic mutations inherited from family members. These genetic changes increase the risk of developing the condition.
|Accounts for a small percentage of cases
|A group of disorders with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease but with additional features. Examples include multiple system atrophy (MSA) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). These conditions may have distinct underlying causes and may progress differently from idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.
|Relatively rare; accounts for a small percentage
|Drug-Induced Parkinson’s Disease
|Parkinsonism symptoms are caused by certain medications or drugs, appearing as a side effect. Symptoms usually improve or resolve once the medication is stopped.
|Relatively rare; varies based on medication use
|Parkinsonism symptoms are caused by other underlying conditions or factors such as head trauma, brain infections, or exposure to toxins. Symptoms improve or resolve once the underlying cause is treated or removed.
|Varies depending on the underlying condition/cause
Continue reading on the next page and discover, among others, how to recognize Parkinson’s Disease and what you should do next.