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Parkinson’s disease 

Parkinson’s disease
Chapter:
Parkinson’s disease
Author(s):

A. J. Lees

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199658602.003.0008
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date: 05 May 2021

The following landmark discoveries in our understanding of Parkinson’s disease are considered in this chapter: the first full medical description of the malady; consistent severe loss of pigmented cells in the substantia nigra; severe depletion of striatal dopamine; the use of high doses of racemic dopa to improve the motor symptoms; a superior animal model for the study of potential new treatments; functional lesioning and deep brain stimulation to relieve symptoms; capability of fetal dopamine cells to reinnervate the striatum and improve handicap; a compensatory phase before the emergence of motor symptoms and nigral cell loss beginning about five years prior to the onset of presenting symptoms; a large autosomal dominant family with Parkinsonism found to carry a genetic mutation of alpha synuclein; and discovery of Lewy bodies in surviving grafted fetal neuronal cells many years after successful implantation.

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