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Parkinson's Disease

             The world has many diseases and illnesses but we do not realize the destructiveness of these complications because there are cures for them. There are only a few diseases today that no cures exists for such as Cancer and HIV but the one we tend to overlook is Parkinson's. This is a disease that affects many people in the United States today and has for many years. Parkinson's will continue to be a disease of mystery because the causes and cures have yet to be discovered. I have had a direct relationship with the unpredictable and incurable disease, which resulted in the death of my great grandfather. I watched as the effects of Parkinson's strengthened over years resulting in the formation of a man that I no longer knew. This was my motivation for this paper; I wanted to discover what was happening to my grandfather, which changed my life and his life forever. .
             Parkinson's was first described in 1817 by British physician James Parkinson in his Essay on the Shaking Palsy (Fahn, 1999). Various types of this disease are now recognized but the most common form is Parkinson's disease. It is also called idiopathic Parkinsonism because the cause of nuerodegeneration and this form of the disorder is unknown(Clinical Reference Systems, 1999). The average age of onset of Parkinson's disease is 55 years of age although it can occur at younger ages such as in Michael J. Fox's case(Fahn, 1999). Parkinson's affects nearly one million Americans such as two in every one-thousand people but only ten percent of the cases are of whom develop symptoms before the age of forty (Cummings, 1999). Parkinson's produces an annual cost of twenty billion dollars in treatment and medication. Parkinson's or shaking palsy is described as an insidious disease that threatens one's quality of life as it progresses. It is classified as a chronic disease, meaning you will have it the rest of your life, and is also progressive resulting in symptoms growing worse on an average of ten to twenty years.

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