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Isthe drug Levodopa the best option to fight Parkinson's disease?

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Is levodopa drugs the best option to fight parkinson's disease? Introduction to parkinson?s disease Parkinson?s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the central nervous system. The cause of this gradual loss of neurone function is due to the lower production of dopamine ,which functions as a neurotransmitter,caused by the death of dopamine-generating cells in the brain. This means that nerve cells cannot operate as well meaning activities may take longer to complete. People with this disease show symptoms similar to that seen in parkinsonism. The primary symptoms involve difficulties with movement which could be observed as shaking or slowness of movement. Parkinsonism may be caused by the use of drugs. Although the symptoms are mainly physical difficulties having Parkinson?s disease also can cause psychiatric problems like dementia. With one in 500 people, the equivalent of 127,000 people in the UK, having parkinson?s disease it is one of the most common neurological diseases at the moment. It generally affects people around the age of 50+ and is more commonly found in men. Parkinson?s in more detail As mentioned before cells producing dopamine are destroyed and scientists currently believe that the main cause is due to genetic protein misfolding and build up. In Parkinson?s disease degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons producing dopamine means that lewy bodies form. ...read more.


They prevent levodopa from being converted to dopamine in the bloodstream. Scientists have also noticed that this combination may also cure other syndromes such as the restless leg syndrome. There are also other side effects caused by L-DOPA. The most common side effects include hallucinations and vivid dreams as well as anorexia and increased risk of impulse control disorders. The combination of L-DOPA and the DDCI drugs mentioned earlier have side effects that could threaten a person?s life and therefore should not be given to patients who are pregnant, have psychotic disorders or are hypersensitive. There are several precautions as to not make the side effects even worse. One of these precautions is to avoid abrupt withdrawal. Patients with cardiovascular or respiratory disease should also be treated with caution when administering the combination. If taken in low doses there is a general trend showing that it leaves people unaffected. You can then build up the aount of each dose. If you take too much side effects may occur. Over time levodopa loses its effectiveness as most people start taking levodopa develop problems with 40% of people treated with levodopa developing motor fluctuations within 6 years of treatment. However, the overall effect of this drug shows that it is reducing the number of Parkinson?s related deaths. ...read more.


Now it is only used on patients that have had Parkinson?s disease for a long period of time. There are 2 main types of surgery that can be performed. The first is deep brain stimulation which involves implanting leads into 3 points in the patients brain which is connected to a neurotransmitter based under the skin around the chest which can be rechargeable or non rechargeable. After this surgery patients are usually expected to make a full recovery and be able to do activities as before. The other surgery that can be used is lesioning techniques. This involves causing selective damage by inserting an electrode into the target before releasing a small current to damage the cells nearby that control movement. This will therefore reduce the effects of movement symptoms. This is very effective against Parkinson?s disease but it isn?t highly recommended because of the high risk that it will cause irreversible damage. This method has a 95% success rate which is extremely high showing that this is a very good method to use. Conclusion In conclusion i believe that using L-DOPA is the best short term answer to provide relief from the symptoms and hopefully provide an answer to Parkinson?s disease. However, for cases who are lasting longer i think that stem cells would be the best way to deal with it. This is because it is a simple procedure and there is less risk compared to surgery which can cause negative irreversible damage to the cells that control movement. ...read more.

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