What is Parkinson's Disease? - Overview

Are you wondering, "what is Parkinson's disease"?

Michael J. Fox suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Many people don’t have the slightest clue what this debilitating condition is, but they know that it is what Michael J. Fox has.

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A note about What is Parkinson's Disease? - Overview

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

There was a time when this charismatic young actor seemed to be sitting on top of the world. Then, he says, his pinky finger began to twitch. This was the way that I heard him describe the beginnings of his fight with Parkinson’s disease in an interview. He was promoting his new book and I only caught a bit of the show, but I remember being struck by how brave he seemed.

So, what is Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder which affects the body’s movements. Nerve cells in the brain create a chemical called dopamine, which helps muscles to move in a fluid, smooth motion. When a person has Parkinson’s disease, the nerve cells are not making enough dopamine to help with movement.

Since this disease is progressive, it gets worse over time and it can take many years to become severe. In the meantime, it can be frustrating having to battle this illness and the effects of it.


In that case, the next question is, what is Parkinson's disease caused by?

Researchers aren’t yet certain of what factors cause the nerve cells to become impaired and hence to stop making dopamine. Some say that it’s genetic, with certain family groups showing high probability of getting Parkinson’s.

Other researchers think that the neurological damage may have something to do with toxins that get into the body and kill the dopamine-producing nerve cells. Pesticides and carbon monoxide are two of the possible suspects for this type of damage to the brain.

Another theory is that oxidation occurs in the brain. This is when free radicals attempting to replace their missing electrons react to things like iron. While free radicals are usually in the body, our systems have the ability to get rid of these damaging molecules with little or no side effects. When a person has Parkinson’s, it is thought that he or she has too many free radicals or is unable to fight them the way a healthy individual would.

While genetic elements usually play a part in determining one's susceptibility to many health conditions, in discussing what is Parkinson's disease caused by, environmental factors almost certainly make the biggest contribution.

Symptoms Similar to Parkinson's Disease

There are factors that can cause symptoms that seem to mimic Parkinson’s disease. So, it’s important to be properly diagnosed to determine if a person truly is suffering from Parkinson’s.

  • Certain medications have been found to have Parkinson’s-like effects, such as the drugs used to treat schizophrenia and severe paranoia.

  • Street drugs, including contaminated heroin, can cause Parkinson’s type effects.

  • Blood vessel disorders, such as stroke and hardening of the arteries, can cause symptoms that can appear to be Parkinson’s disease.

What is Parkinson's Disease - Conclusion

Usually, a person will not begin to experience symptoms of Parkinson’s disease until they are about 60, but once in a while, as in Michael J. Fox’s case, the disease will strike people as young as 30.

If you are affected by Parkinson’s disease, you should know that you are not alone. In fact, quite a significant proportion of the general population is afflicted by this ailment. You should also know that there is hope to help you live a full, happy life for a very long time, so you should not give up.

Having had a better understanding of what is Parkinson's disease, you can learn more about this condition through the other related articles and pages.

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