Friday, August 4, 2006

For My Dad...... February 08, 2006 9.30pm

For My Dad...... February 08, 2006 9.30pm
What is Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive disorder of the central nervous system that belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders. Parkinson's is the direct result of the loss of cells in a section of the brain called the substantia nigra. Those cells produce dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals within the brain. Loss of dopamine causes critical nerve cells in the brain, or neurons, to fire out of control, leaving patients unable to direct or control their movement in a normal manner.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of Parkinson's, which often appear gradually yet with increasing severity, may include tremors or trembling; difficulty maintaining balance and gait; rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; and general slowness of movement (also called bradykinesia). Patients may also eventually have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks
Parkinson's disease worsens over time
Awakenings staring robin Williams uses the drug used to treat Parkinson’s - L-dopa

Who has Parkinson’s?

Michael J. Fox

And my dad he turns 84 this year

My dad

He stands with his hands on his hips

He’s slightly stooped

He coughs from the coal dust of many years ago

Thin and grey now

But I remember a tall middle aged man

Who would sit me on his lap and let me stroke his fine black hair

Already starting to grey a little by the time I was born

That’s my dad

A great grand father

Like his clock

Tall but slightly battered through travels of many countries

But now my dad has Parkinson’s his hands wobble

He has trouble moving

His clock a great, great grandfather of a clock will outlast him

Like it has other generations of our family

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