oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Parkinson's Disease : guidelines

Volume 77, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease, characterised by the progressive loss of dopamine-producing nerve fibres, and typically occurring in older adults. The disease was first described by James Parkinson, an English apothecary surgeon, geologist, palaeontologist and political activist, in 1817 in "An Essay on the Shaking Palsy" in which he described "paralysis agitans", the condition of six individuals that he observed on their daily walks. About 60 years later, the disease was named after him by French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology, James Martin Charcot. While the symptoms, pathology and treatment of PD are well-documented, the exact cause of the disease is still unknown. Postulated theories include accelerated aging, genetic susceptibility particularly in early onset PD, environmental toxins (for example cyanide, carbon disulphide, pesticides, well water, methanol, organic solvents, lead), and oxidative stress.

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