Glossary of Parkinson's Disease Terms
Propulsive gait: Disturbance of gait typical of people with symptoms of Parkinson's in which, during walking, steps become faster and faster with progressively shorter steps that passes from a walking to a running pace and may precipitate falling forward.
Range of motion: The extent that a joint will move from being fully straightened to completely bent.
Receptor: A structure located on the nerve cell that receives the chemical messenger (neurotransmitter, such as dopamine) sent from an adjacent nerve cell. This is how nerve cells communicate. Most of the drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease are designed to interact with nerve cell receptors and improve nerve cell communication.
Resting tremor: Shaking that occurs in a relaxed and supported limb.
Retropulsive gait: Walking that is propelled backwards.
Rigidity: Muscular stiffness that is common in people with Parkinson's disease. It is characterized by a resistance to movement in the limbs.
Requip (ropinirole): A new drug used to treat Parkinson's. It works by increasing the amount of dopamine available in the brain.
Seborrhoea: Increased oily secretions from the sweat glands of the skin; occurs often in those with Parkinson's disease.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin sometimes associated with seborrhoea.
Shaking palsy: Old term used for what we now call Parkinson's disease.
Shy-Drager syndrome: A rare condition where there is failure of the autonomic nervous system and abnormalities in muscle function. A person with Shy-Drager syndrome has symptoms of Parkinson's (Parkinsonism), extremely low blood pressure that worsens upon standing, bladder problems, severe constipation, and decreased sweating.
Sinemet: Trade name for the Parkinson's disease drug that is a mixture of levodopa and carbidopa.
Sinemet CR: A version of Sinemet that works for a longer period of time as it releases the drug more slowly into the body.
Stereotactic surgery: Surgical technique that involves placing a small electrode in an area of the brain to destroy a tiny amount of brain tissue (see deep brain stimulation).
Striatonigral degeneration: This is a condition where certain nerve pathways in the brain are destroyed. People with this condition also have Parkinsonism.
Striatum: The part of the basal ganglia (a structure located deep in the brain) controlling movement, balance, and walking.
Sustention or postural tremor: Tremor that increases when hands are stretched out in front.
Symmetrel (Amantadine): A drug that releases the nerve chemical messenger dopamine and is useful in treating Parkinson's.
Tardive dyskinesia: This condition is a common side effect of long-term use of medications such as chlorpromazine, Haldol, and Loxapine. People with this condition have the characteristic abnormal, involuntary snake-like movements usually of the face and mouth or arms.
Thalamotomy: Operation in which a small region of the thalamus (a structure deep in the brain) is destroyed. Tremor and rigidity in Parkinsonism and other conditions may be relieved by thalamotomy. This surgery is rarely recommended and has been replaced by deep brain stimulation.