Low levels of
dopamine, a brain chemical involved
in controlling movement, cause symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Low levels happen when nerve cells in a part of the brain that makes dopamine break down. The exact cause of this
breakdown isn't known.
Scientists are looking for links between
Parkinson's disease and genetics,
aging, toxins in the environment, and
free radicals. Although
these studies are beginning to provide some answers, experts don't know the
exact cause of the disease.
Why did I develop Parkinson's disease?
What are my treatment options?
What are the pros and cons of each treatment?
What short-term and long-term side effects can I expect from the treatment? Is there anything I can do to minimize them?
Can you recommend any support groups for my family and me?
Are there any non-drug options that might help? What lifestyle modifications can I...
Only a small
percentage of people with Parkinson's have a parent, brother, or sister
who has the disease. But abnormal
genes do seem to be a factor in a few families where
early-onset Parkinson's is common.
There are many other causes
of parkinsonism, which is a group of symptoms that includes tremor, muscle
stiffness, slow movement, and unsteady walking. Parkinsonism mimics Parkinson's
disease, but in fact is not Parkinson's disease.