SIMON FRASER / ROYAL VICTORIA INFIRMARY, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON FRASER / ROYAL VICTORIA INFIRMARY, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Parkinson's disease patient. Hand of an elderly man with Parkinson's disease is examined by a doctor. The doctor tests the wrist for "cogwheel" tone, while the fingers are tested for slow movement (bradykinesia). Parkinson's disease is characterised by a shuffling unbalanced walk, rigid posture and slow trembling movements. Parkinson's disease is caused by degeneration of nerve cells in the basal ganglia of the brain. This causes a lack of dopamine, a brain chemical required for proper motor activity. The disease occurs mainly in the elderly, and is more common in men. Drug treatment minimizes the symptoms.
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