Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes premature death of a group of neurons located in a region of the brain stem called the substantia nigra. The function of these neurons is to control the movement we do is done correctly and that certain motor activities such as walking, are performed automatically without thinking about what we need to do to walk.
According to specialists in Neurology , Parkinson's is more common as they age, especially aged 60 and 70, although in some cases the appearance is advanced to late forties or early fifties.
Parkinson's symptoms disappear manifest when 80% of the neurons of the substantia nigra. Until that happens there is a phase that can be called prodromal, in which there are symptoms and signs that we can now indicate the onset of the disease.
The first symptoms of Parkinson's often a difficulty getting up from low chairs, with falling backward when trying. Decreased arm swing on one of the upper limbs when walking, shuffling, shorter steps, tend to move the body forward when walking, difficulty turning when he walks, etc.. In addition, the family may also notice a decrease in the frequency of blinking and a face expressionless. Sometimes you may receive a pain in the shoulder by increasing the rigidity in the upper limb.
Initially these symptoms affect over one side of the body to another, i.e. there is significant asymmetry. As from the beginning the symptoms are bilateral, we must look for other causes, such as taking drugs or other signs of other neurodegenerative diseases, which will not respond to treatment for Parkinson's.
Prodromal symptoms may appear years before the onset of the above symptoms and, at present, we can not predict whether these prodromal symptoms will end up producing this disease. The most common will be a persistent constipation, a persistent depressive symptoms and a sleep disorder called REM sleep behavior associated. In the latter condition, if when we are dreaming during sleep can only move their eyes and respiratory muscles, these patients "act" in their dreams movements and may even walk out of bed.
Parkinson's should be treated when symptoms alter the quality of life of the patient, the more the better use of levodopa delay before you can use other drugs that also will relieve symptoms.