Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive degenerative disorder which affects the neurons responsible for motor skills; resulting in shaking, difficulty with walking, movement and coordination.
Harmonious work of the nervous system depends upon the balanced action and information exchange between its cells (neurons). Neurons use special messenger molecules, called neurotransmitters, in order to rely information between each other. So far we have discovered over 200 neurotransmitters, but for the purpose of this blog, we will focus on only on 1 them:
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for relay of messages from one neuron to another. It’s a body-made opiate which is very closely connected to adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Some call it the ‘sex, drugs and rock & roll’ of all chemical messengers as dopamine is responsible for regulation of experiences of PREDICTED pleasure, love, lust, and happiness. Its influence on our emotions if far greater than that of serotonin itself!
That’s not all! Dopamine is also responsible for relay of impulses responsible for the start of movement.
In Parkinson’s Disease, the brain cells within the substantia nigra- area responsible for production of dopamine, noradrenaline and 20% of serotonin- are degenerating and, subsequently, cease to produce optimal amounts of dopamine. Without dopamine, neurons are unable to transmit messages efficiently.
Once the dopamine levels drop below 80%, we start getting some very characteristic symptoms, like:
- Tremor, usually starting in one of the hands and affecting one side of the body; PD tremors are more noticeable during rest and tend to reduce with movement
- Slowing down of all body movements, which can lead to occasional drooling
- Rigidity and lack of stability- which leads to characteristic stooped posture and dragging of feet in later stages of the disease
There are no clear links indicating the cause of Parkinson’s although some research is pointing towards cumulative effect of exposure to chemicals and heavy metals as well as oxidative stress.
The treatment in mainstream medicine revolves around controlling and slowing down the progression of the disease.
Homeopathy and Herbal Medicine have their own options which can either aid the mainstream therapy in reduction of unpleasant side-effects or be used on their own, as a a complete mode of treatment in their own right.