JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Parkinson's disease. Illustration of the brain, depicting the neurological disorder of Parkinson's disease. In the foreground is a cross-section through the upper brainstem. Parkinson's disease is caused by a degeneration of nerve tissue within the brain's basal ganglia, particularly the substantia nigra (black). These areas are involved in controlling motor functions. Degeneration of these nerve pathways prevents contracted muscle from relaxing causing tremor, joint rigidity and slow movement. Parkinson's disease affects the elderly, progressing from a slight hand tremor, to an unbalanced, bent-over, shuffling walk. Treat- ment includes dopamine drugs. There is no cure.
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