PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How can Parkinson's disease affect your brain?

ANSWER

Deep down in your brain, there's an area called the substantia nigra. Some of its cells make dopamine, a chemical that carries messages around your brain. When you need to scratch an itch or kick a ball, dopamine quickly carries a message to the nerve cell that controls that movement.

When you have Parkinson's, the cells of your substantia nigra start to die. There's no replacing them, so your dopamine levels drop and you can't fire off as many messages to control your body.

From: What Is Parkinson's Disease? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Health Service: "Parkinson's Disease."

Parkinson's Disease Foundation: "What Is Parkinson's Disease?"

Mayo Clinic: "Parkinson's Disease."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "What Is Parkinson's Disease?"

NIH, National Institute on Aging: "Parkinson's Disease."

Cleveland Clinic: "Parkinson's Disease: An Overview."

National Parkinson Foundation: "The Stages of Parkinson's Disease."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on August 11, 2017

SOURCES:

National Health Service: "Parkinson's Disease."

Parkinson's Disease Foundation: "What Is Parkinson's Disease?"

Mayo Clinic: "Parkinson's Disease."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "What Is Parkinson's Disease?"

NIH, National Institute on Aging: "Parkinson's Disease."

Cleveland Clinic: "Parkinson's Disease: An Overview."

National Parkinson Foundation: "The Stages of Parkinson's Disease."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on August 11, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What are some problems you'll notice when you have Parkinson's disease?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.