Tutorial 2 Video – Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson's, Parkinson disease, or PD) is a
degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that impairs motor skills, cognitive
processes, and other functions.
PD is the most common cause of chronic progressive syndrome characterized by tremor,
rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability.
Among non motor symptoms are autonomic dysfunction and sensory and sleep
Cognitive and neurobehavioral problems, including dementia, are common in the
advanced stages of the disease.
PD usually appears around the age of 60, although there are young-onset cases.
PD = condition that slowly freezes the body
Prescribed drugs to “unlock” the limbs side effects = twitching movements for which
there is little treatment = no cure for PD yet
PD = missing dopamine cells which make this are dying = this is what leads to
1960’s = found a way to replace dopamine = L Dopa mobility returned in PD patients!
BUT – L dopa had serious side effects = drug still gives mobility but the movements
are no longer normal [introduction of involuntary movements]
PD = idiopathic disease (no known cause)
Young ppl with PD = the disease is more aggressive; their response to drug treatment is
lost quickly and will develop side effects more rapidly than the elderly patients
Ecstasy or MDMA – allowed co-ordination for TIM
He knows it’s not practical – he only takes it twice a month maybe
Dangers of ecstasy = rarely fatal but can cause memory blackouts & depression
Researcher’s interested in Tim’s cause = b/c ecstasy increases serotonin and not
dopamine levels in the brain
Dopamine & serotonin = neurotransmitters
High levels of serotonin = causes euphoria; nothing to do with movement
Researcher’s want to know why serotonin seems to be working for Tim
They conndcted 2 experiments: with & without ecstasy
In the 2 condition = ecstasy alone has unfrozen his limbs; although it alone doesn’t give
him as much mobility as when it is taken in conjunction with L dopa = but it gives any
mobility at all alone is surprising
Dopamine actually seems to be playing no part in the unfreezing process!!!
SUB-THALAMIC NUCLEUS = Unilateral destruction or disruption of the subthalamic
nucleus – which can commonly occur via a small vessel stroke in patients with diabetes,
hypertension, or a history of smoking – produces hemiballismus
Hemiballismus is a very rare movement disorder. It is five hundred times rarer than
Parkinson's disease . Its effects can sometimes be severe enough to prevent patients
from being able to perform daily functions . It is usually associated with structural brain
lesions but can occur with metabolic abnormalities. The symps can also decrease
while the patient is asleep, unlike some movement disorders . BIOB30
- The SUB-THALAMIC NUCLEUS is hyperactive in a PD brain so it is involved
- This structure has no direction connection with dopamine but plays a crucial role in