Many people in the United States have diseases that can cause tremors in different parts of the body. One of these diseases is known as Parkinson's disease. This disease has become increasingly more prevalent as time has progressed. In today's times, 1 out of 100 people that are over 60 years of age have Parkinson's disease. Additionally, there are about 1.5 million people in the United States who currently have this life-controlling disease. Fifty eight percent of these 1.5 million people that have Parkinson's disease are men. A man named James Parkinson, who was a doctor in London, first discovered this disease. In 1817, he wrote an essay called "The Shaking Palsy" that described Parkinson's disease. As of today, doctors and researchers throughout the world have been trying to find out more about Parkinsonism. .
Parkinson's Disease is one of the many strains of Parkinsonism. They all have similar causes and symptoms. Parkinsonism is a neurological disease that can be caused by a number of factors. The part of the brain where Parkinsonism stems from is called the substantia nigra. This is an area in the midbrain that has many dopaminergic neurons and black pigment neuromelanin. The basic neurons in the substantia nigra can be referred to as nigral neurons or pigmented neurons. In the substantia nigra there are approximately 400,000 nigral neurons. On average, a person loses about 2,400 nigral neurons a year. When a person loses the cells at an even faster rate, and eventually it gets to be that they have lost sixty percent of the 400,000 nigral neurons, they will develop Parkinsonism. In addition to this, when nigral neurons are lost, a deficit of dopamine forms. The dopamine is the mechanism that controls movement and balance. .
There are many factors that can cause the increased loss of nigral neurons. Scientists have found that there is a gene called alpha synuclein that is a form of hereditary Parkinson's disease.