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About Parkinson’s Disease

August 1, 2010

Parkinson’s Disease has long been thought of as a “simple” neurological disorder resulting from a genetic flaw encountering an environmental misfortune normally afflicting the old. Even today it is far too common for the patient to be told that he is too young to have PD.  If nothing else is accomplished here, allow us to at least put this bit of ignorance to rest.

Parkinson’s Disease is a complex collection of at least two similar but distinct syndromes with one striking the aged (Senior Onset) and the other the young (Young Onset). The latter, being by far the more complex, enfolds SOPD and so our discussion is in terms of YOPD. But, as we shall see, even this is an over-simplification.

The current state of knowledge of Parkinson’s Disease is a jumbled mess spilling across several scientific disciplines. This Site is an attempt to bring some order to the chaotic collection of data that has accumulated in the archives over the last fifty years. As one “connects the dots” a picture does, indeed, emerge. It is of Parkinson’s Disease as a multi-factoral entity arising from a set of conditions drawn from a larger set of possibilities. These reach a level that triggers a more or less individualized set of degenerative processes that eventually lead to what we know as PD.

A useful tool to help comprehend this is the simple menu of a cafeteria-style restaurant.  Each item has a price and each customer has a unique sum of money in his pocket. Some items have a cost of a dollar, some two. Some patrons have ten dollars in their pocket, some twenty. When the cost of the items on their tray exceeds the funds in their pocket the result is Parkinson’s Disease.

This view of PD allows for the confusing observations of a disorder different in each individual and yet so similar. This is important because, if there is no one cause, we may be wasting precious time and resources in the search for one cure. Fortunately, if there are multiple “causes” converging to produce the disorder, it may be possible to disrupt the individual processes and halt or roll back the disease.

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