In the human brain, progressive degeneration of the nerve cells in a portion known as ‘Subatantia Nigra’ causes a disorder called ‘Parkinson’s disease’. The neurons in this part of the brain produce a chemical called ‘Dopamine’. This acts as a chemical messenger between two parts of the brain called corpus striatum and subatabtia-nigra. These communications are essential to co-ordinate balanced and smooth muscular movements. Low dopamine levels cause loss of this functioning.
Although the exact cause of this condition in unknown, many studies have concluded that this disorder could be hereditary. It is possible that advent of this disorder in children or at young age could be caused by genetic components.
Some studies also infer that presence of toxins internally or externally destroy the dopaminergic neurons selectively and cause this disorder. Some of the external toxins include carbon disulphide, manganese, carbon monoxide or other pesticides.
Free radicals generated in the brain and other parts of the body cause oxidation of the cells. Human body normally has the ability to neutralize them. But an ineffective body mechanism or excess production of free radicals can increase chances of further oxidation of cells. With the presence of toxins in the environment, the production of these free radicals may increase causing damage to the neurons.
Some conditions which make the individual have symptoms similar to that in Parkinson’s disease are:
- Medicines: Drugs used to treat schizophrenia or paranoia.
- Shy Drager syndrome: A rare condition of degeneration.
- Drugs: Synthetically manufactured contaminant of heroin called MPTP.
- Disorder of blood vessels: Hardening of arteries or stroke.
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