Parkinson’s disease is a growing disorder that is produced by degeneration of nerve cells in the portion of the brain termed as substantia nigra, which regulates movement. These nerve cells die or get impaired, losing the capacity to produce an essential chemical called dopamine. Investigations have revealed that symptoms of Parkinson’s begin in patients with an 80 percent or higher loss of dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra.
Dopamine functions in a delicate balance with other neurotransmitters is found to be helpful to regulate the millions of nerve and muscle cells involved in the movement. Without enough dopamine, this equilibrium is interrupted, resulting in trembling in the hands, arms, legs, and jaw. The rigidity of stiffness of the limbs, slowness of movement and impaired balance are some common symptoms of Parkinson’s.
The diagnosis of Parkinson’s is essentially based on the common symptoms mentioned above. Noninvasive diagnostic imaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET) can help a doctor’s diagnosis. Traditional methods for investigation include