Parkinson’s is a ruthless disease that cripples many Americans and their loved ones every year. We are only talking about Americans, but there might be thousands or even millions of other cases in the world every year.
In case you are wondering what Parkinson’s does to the afflicted, it is known as a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system. Its main target is the motor system, slowly making its host lose control over their movement functions.
The motor symptoms are a result of the death of cells that generate dopamine. These cells practically ensure the link in between neurons. They send electrical impulses to other nerve cells, maintaining the brain’s “awareness” of the entire body.
Ultimately, the motor system will fail and the patient will be rigid, they will shake and, if they can still move, they will do so slowly. Later symptoms usually involve dementia, occurring commonly in the later stages of the disease, along with other behavioral or thinking issues.
However, scientists have discovered that there is an increased level of ursodeoxycholic acid in Parkinson’s disease victims, and this information can help them slow down the disease. There is a liver disease drug called UDCA which has been approved for treating liver disease and it could be approved for Parkinson’s disease as well if trials deem it successful.
While the exact reason as to why Parkinson’s develops is still unknown, scientists declared that the mutation of a gene known as the LRRK2 gene is the most commonly identified link in between all Parkinson’s disease patients.
Professor Oliver Bandmann, who works at the University of Sheffield, is optimistic that UDCA is going to help many people suffering from this cruel disease. However, the research that he and his colleagues conducted was only centered around the LRRK2 mutation, not taking into account other forms of Parkinson’s that do not have this mutation in common.
According to current statistics, approximately one million Americans struggle every day with Parkinson’s disease. Their number is higher than that of sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined.
Every year, there are approximately 60 thousand Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but this number does not include all other thousands of cases that go undetected. The majority of cases involve people after the age of 50. Only 4 percent being diagnosed before this age and men are more likely to have it.
While the Parkinson’s disease remains an issue that is being treated very delicately, we hope that professor Bandmann and his colleagues will manage to make the temporary cure available to a wider public.
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