The causes of Parkinson's disease are not yet fully understood. There are many theories, among them:
• Damage to the substantia nigra cells by free radicals.
• As a reason may be a damage to the brain tissue at different external toxins poisoning.
• Heredity is also considered a cause which increases the risk of disease.
• The presence of the modified gene. Scientists geneticists have identified several genes, the presence of which in humans cause the appearance of Parkinson's at a young age.
• Deficiency of vitamin D, which is formed in the body of a person under the influence of sunlight. With age, the body loses this ability and the risk of disease increases. Vitamin D protects brain cells from toxins and free radicals.
• Appearance of defective mitochondria through mutation. They occur in the neurons of the brain and lead to degeneration of these cells.
• Encephalitis with viral and bacterial origin. Various inflammations of brain tissues lead to the emergence of Parkinson's.
• Atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases are also considered as risk factors.
• Head injuries, concussion may result in malfunction of the substantia nigra cells.
The first symptoms of Parkinson's disease are difficult to see - such as immobility hands while walking, light tremor (shaking) in the fingers or minor speech disorders. Patients feel a devastation, loss of strength, likely to be depressed or suffer from insomnia. In addition, the usual activities (showering, shaving, cooking, etc.) require a lot of effort and take more time.
Tremor often begins with a light shake hands or even individual fingers. Sometimes it is accompanied by a hand shake with uneven movement of thumb and middle finger reminiscent of rolling invisible pills (the so-called "pill rolling syndrome"). Sometimes there is a tremor of lower extremities. These symptoms may be expressed on more than one side of the body or to appear symmetrically and combined with other nervous system symptoms: impaired coordination, sensitivity and etc.
Slowness of movement or bradykinesia. Over time, Parkinson's, gains new disease symptoms, including slowness and clumsiness and incoordination. Rigidity of the leg muscles can interfere with movement and lead to impaired gait. This is particularly unfortunate, for it gets difficult to perform simple actions. In some cases, even rigidity constrains movement and causes pain.
Loss of balance, especially in severe cases, is often accompanied by an inability to maintain balance. For many years, this problem remains negligible and does not cause discomfort.
Loss of automatism of movements. A wink, an appearance of a smile, waving hands while walking - automatic actions of a normal organism, which are carried out on a subconscious level, and even the addition of our desire. In patients with Parkinson's disease these automatism of movements often disappears. In some cases, patients’ face has firmly fixed expression of close and intensive attention, unblinking stare. Some patients, except facial expressions, loose an ability to gesticulation.
Many patients with Parkinson's also suffer from speech disorders, it can become slightly modulated, illegible. The voice loses tone and becomes monotonous and quiet. For older people, this is a particular problem because of difficulty of hearing older cohabitants.
Violation of swallowing and salivation. This symptom occurs in the later stages of the disease, but, with few exceptions, patients with this symptom are still able to eat on their own.
Dementia. A small percentage of patients suffer from Parkinson's dementia that is an inability to think, understand and remember. This symptom also appears in the later stages of the disease.