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Glossary of Parkinson's Disease Terms

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Drug induced Parkinsonism: Parkinson's symptoms, which have been caused by drugs used to treat other conditions, (for example, Reglan, a drug used to treat stomach problems, and certain antidepressants).

Dysarthria: Speech difficulties due to impairment of the muscles associated with speech.

Dyskinesia: Abnormal muscle movements. May appear as a side effect of long-term drug treatment in Parkinson's and may worsen in response to stress. (See also Levodopa Induced Dyskinesia)

Dysphasia: Difficulty speaking.

Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain usually caused by a viral infection.

Ethopropazine (Parsidol/Parsitan): A drug sometimes used in the past to treat Parkinson's disease.

Extrapyramidal nervous system: Refers to the basal ganglia and its connections, Mainly concerned with the regulation of automatic movements.

Festination: Walking in rapid, short, shuffling steps.

Flexion: A bent or curved posture.

Glaucoma: A sustained increase of pressure within the eyeball, which can injure the optic nerve and cause impaired vision or blindness. Although rare, treatment with anticholinergic drugs (see anticholinergic) may exacerbate glaucoma.

Globus pallidus: A structure located deep in the brain in the inner part of the basal ganglia.

Hypokinesia: Decreased motor activity.

Idiopathic: An adjective meaning "of unknown cause." The usual form of Parkinson's is idiopathic Parkinson's.

Intention tremor: Tremor occurring when the person attempts voluntary movement.

Lenticular nucleus: A group of nerve cells located in the basal ganglia, a structure deep within the brain. The lenticular nucleus contains the cells of the putamen and globus pallidus.

Levodopa: A drug, containing a form of the important brain chemical dopamine, commonly used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Sinemet and Prolopa contain levodopa.

Levodopa-induced dyskinesias: A side effect of taking levodopa that may occur with prolonged use and is marked by abnormal, involuntary movements. Reducing the amount of levodopa may alleviate the side effect.

Lewy body: Brain cells that have abnormal pigmented spheres inside them. They are found in the damaged parts of the brain in people with Parkinson's disease.

Livido reticularis: A purplish or bluish coloration of the skin seen usually below the knee and on the forearm in persons treated with Symmetrel. This is usually a benign condition.

Lodosyn (Carbidopa): A drug that is usually given in combination with a Parkinson's drug called levodopa; the combination is called Sinemet. Carbidopa helps levodopa to be more effective and can be used to reduce the side effects of levodopa.

Mirapex (pramipexole): A newer dopamine agonist that is tolerated better and is more effective.

Micrographia: The tendency to have very small handwriting due to difficulty with fine motor movements in Parkinson's disease.

MPTP: A toxic chemical, exposure to which causes Parkinson's disease symptoms in some intravenous drug users. It is now used to produce Parkinson's symptoms in laboratory animals in order to study the disease.

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