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Monday, September 27, 2010 10:51:30 PM 
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Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease may affect your ability to control how you move. Certain nerve cells in the brain normally produce a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, that these brain cells use to help direct and control the body's movement. In Parkinson's disease, the nerve cells that make dopamine break down, causing dopamine levels to drop. When this happens, it causes problems with movement.

What causes Parkinson's disease?

The cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown. Symptoms of the disease are caused by low levels of dopamine. While abnormal genes seem to be a factor in the development of Parkinson's disease in some people, there is no evidence strong enough to prove that the disease is inherited.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease include shaking (tremor), stiff muscles (rigidity), and slow movement (bradykinesia). A person with advanced Parkinson's disease also may have stooped posture, a fixed facial expression, speech problems, and problems with balance or walking, as well as a decline in intellect.

Shaking or tremor may be the first symptom you notice. Unlike most other tremors, the "resting" tremor of Parkinson's disease is worst when you are awake but not moving the affected limb. The tremor improves when you move the affected limb or are asleep. On the other hand, tremors caused by other conditions usually get worse when you move an affected limb and get better when it is at rest.

    * Many people who have tremor do not have Parkinson's disease.
    * Up to 15% of people who have Parkinson's disease do not have tremor. 1

How is Parkinson's disease diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is based on a medical history and a thorough neurological exam.

There are no lab tests that can diagnose the disease. Sometimes an imaging test called positron emission tomography (PET) can detect low levels of dopamine in the brain, but this test is not often used to diagnose Parkinson's disease because it is expensive and not widely available.

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Our mission is to educate the general public on stem cell therapies now available to treat common neurological diseases and injuries.

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Stem Cells 101 Stem Cells 101
This page will explain stem cell therapies.  It answer many questions you may have regarding stem cell therapy for many common neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis
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This page will share patient's experiences.  We expect this page to grow as more people participate.
Treatable Conditions Treatable Conditions
An informative that lists conditions that may be treated with stem cell therapies.
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Frequently asked questions regarding stem cell therapies. This is a forum discussion, so if you are a registered member, you can ask questions here.
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