Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. Mary Hughes, M.D., Neurology Chair, leads GHS' Parkinson's program.  To make an appointment, call (864) 454-4500.

The disease most often develops after age 50. It is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly. Sometimes Parkinson's disease occurs in younger adults, but is rarely seen in children. It affects both men and women.

Nerve cells use a brain chemical called dopamine to help control muscle movement. Parkinson's disease occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine are slowly destroyed. Without dopamine, the nerve cells in that part of the brain cannot properly send messages. This leads to the loss of muscle function. The damage becomes worse with time. Exactly why the brain cells waste away is unknown.  Watch the video from the Parkinson's Symposium(s).  

One interesting avenue of treatment for Parkinson's disease is exercise.  Acceleration Sports Institute (ASI), GHS' sports training center has been working with patients with Traumatic Brain Injury as well as Parkinson's and has seen great improvement with both balance and coordination. Watch the videos below.