Chris D. Meletis, N.D.
There are nearly 2 million Americans, mostly men, that suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Since it was first described in 1817, it has been well researched, and much is now known about its etiology and the precise symptoms associated with the progression of neurologic degeneration. From a pathologic perspective, this condition results from the degeneration within the nuclear masses of the extrapyramidal system. Among the classical symptoms that are observable and that serve as measures of therapeutic success are the characteristic tremor of resting muscles, a slowing of voluntary movement and gait, altered posture, and overall muscular weakness.
Understanding the disease process, the manifestation of symptoms, and the physiology of proper neurologic activity, allows the clinician the opportunity to offer alternative therapeutic approaches that can augment standard drug therapy. Simply put, the manifestation of symptoms arises from an imbalance between dopamine and acetylcholine. As the dopamine levels become depleted, the now less-opposed acetylcholine results in parkinsonism.