Just about one million people living in the United States have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease ("What is Parkinson's Disease?"). Parkinson's disease is a long-term and continuous movement disease, which involves the breakdown and termination of essential nerve cells in the brain ("What is Parkinson's Disease?"). These dying nerve cells are called neurons and supply dopamine, a chemical that communicates messages to the part of the brain that is in charge of movement and coordination ("What is Parkinson's Disease?"). Therefore, as Parkinson's disease advances, the dopamine levels in the brain decline, which leads to a person incapable of controlling movement ("What is Parkinson's Disease?"). Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disease characterized by debilitating symptoms that become more severe as the disease progresses, and is typically seen only in those over the age of forty.
British physician, James Parkinson, composed an explanation of six patients whom were troubled with a gradual continuous disease (Ross and Singer). James Parkinson was a combination of the conventional and the innovative (Burch and Sheerin 627). He was a knowledgeable man who was enthusiastic about happenings overseas, yet he seldom strayed from the suburbs where he was born and died (Burch and Sheerin 627). This disease was categorized by "involuntary tremulous motion, with lessened muscular power in parts not in action even when supported, with a propensity to bend their trunks forward from a walking to a running pace" (Ross and Singer). Parkinson named this disease shaking palsy and throughout time became better known as Parkinson's disease (Ross and Singer).
Parkinson's disease happens when nerve cells, neurons, in the brain die or become weakened ("Parkinson's Disease: Hope"). While many areas of the brain are affected, the most frequent symptoms develop from a loss of neurons at the base of a section of the brain called the substantia nigra ("Parkinson's Disease: Hope").