The Plethora of Pharmaceutical Possibilities for Treating Parkinson’s – Existing Drugs Being Reused

2010-03-26 | |
Last updated: 2010-03-26

Go out into many public places where there people of all ages and you will soon notice some older folks who move a little bit slowly or shake a little bit as they move about. Though you may not have made the link, more often than not, these fragile looking people are sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease or PD, a condition that is readily associated with advancing age.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s is a fairly common disease in older adults that affects as many as 1 in 100 people over the age of 60, though the disease can occur in people younger than 50. In fact, the disease is the second most common form of degenerative nerve disorder. It is chronic in nature and affects white and Hispanic men more commonly than women and people of other ethic backgrounds.

Until late last year, the key understanding related to the disease was that too little of the message transmitting chemical dopamine was either being produced or being received. However, researchers have, since that time, identified more specifically what is happening.

Though often described as a disease, the condition is actually the name of a group of related conditions with similar symptoms. People with the condition typically suffer from physical symptoms such as muscle rigidity, stiffness, tremors and slowed movements. In the worst cases, patients may degrade to the point were they lose the ability to move at all.

From the standpoint of mental difficulties, people with the condition will experience problems with memory, mood and behavior. As well, they may face difficulties in solving problems, maintaining mental focus and even recognizing faces. As the symptoms become worse over time, as many as 30% of people with the condition may ultimately develop dementia according to research from the University of Barcelona.

In part because it is so common, because it can have such profound effects on the quality of life of those with the condition, and because of the costs associated with caring for those with dementia, considerable research effort is taking place in numerous institutions in order to improve the lives of those with the disease. One area in which considerable effort is taking place is with respect to medications.

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Category: Disease Information, Medical Treatment

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