Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder and the symptoms are tremors, rigidity, slow movement, poor balance and difficulty in walking. In the most common idiopathic Parkinson’s disease the cause is unknown and in the other forms, a cause is known or at least suspected.

Parkinson’s disease results from the degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain and dopamine is the neurotransmitter which stimulates motor neurons, those nerve cells which control the muscles.

Millions of people in our world are affected by this disease, the average age of onset of this disease is sixty, but 5% to 10% patients experience symptoms before the age of forty.

A genetic predisposition for Parkinson’s disease may be possible and the risk increases with age.

The cause of Parkinson’s disease is not known, but many researchers believe that several factors like oxygen and other free radicals, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition and accelerated aging together may be the culprits.

Any oxidation in our body can damage nerve cells and the antioxidants from our food normally protect cells from oxidative stress and damage. Drugs, chemicals and other environmental toxins such as pesticides which inhibit dopamine production can produce huge amounts of free radicals which can cause oxidation damage and the genetic factor plays a role in 20% of the patients.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease and the treatment is the administration of drugs to relieve symptoms.

The drugs and drug groups used are levodopa and carbidopa, dopamine agonists, amantadine, MAO-B inhibitors, anticholinergics and catechol-O-methyl transferase inhibitors.