Causes Of Parkinson's Disease

Among the causes of Parkinson's Disease are: 
A Shortage of Dopamine
Parkinson's disease occurs when the nerve cells (neurons) in the sustantial nigra, the area of the brain that controls movement, become impaired or die, and as a result produces insufficient dopamine. This causes the problem with movement seen in people with Parkinson's disease. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that connects the substantial nigra with the corpus striatum, critical for producing smooth and purposeful movement.
Loss of Norepinephrine
Parkinson's disease causes loss of the nerve endings that produce the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is the main chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system. The loss of norepinephrine helps explains some of the non-movement features of Parkinson's, such as fatigue, irregular blood pressure, decreased movement of food through the digestive tract, and postural hypotention, which is the sudden drop in blood pressure.
Lewy Bodies In the Brain Cells
Lewy bodies are unusual deposits of clumps of the brain protein alpha-synuclein, and other proteins found in brain cells of people with Parkinson's. Researchers don't know yet why lewy bodies form, or their role in the development of Parkinson's, but they are suspected of preventing the affected brain cells from properly communicating with other brain cells.
Genetic Mutations and Environmental Toxin
Most Parkinson's cases occur randomly, and do not seem to run in families. Although some cases appear to be hereditary, and a few can be traced to specific genetic mutation, many researchers believe Parkinson's is caused by a combination of genetic mutation and environmental factors, and not by genetic mutation alone. Studies are been done to determine whether pesticides and viruses are implicated in the development of Parkinson's.
Mitochondria and Free Radicals
Mitochondria is the energy producing organelle of the cell, and a major source of free radicals. Free radicals do damage to the membranes, proteins, DNA and other parts of the brain cell. Changes in brain cells caused by this damage (oxidative stress) are found in people with Parkinson's, leading researchers to suggest that mitochondria may play a role in the development of Parkinson's
Genes Linked To Parkinson's
The first gene identified to have a link with Parkinson's is alpha-synuclein or SNCA. These are clumps of brain protein found in the brain cells of people with Parkinson's. Other genes linked to Parkinson's include, PARK2, PARK7, PINK1 and LRRK2. More genes and chromosone regions have been identified, for further study on their normal functions and interactions to find clues on how they cause Parkinson's.

Research Source: The National Institute of Health

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