"In most cases the disease was diagnosed one year after suffering the first symptoms," explains Dr. José Ángel Obeso, from the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital of Navarra.
Parkinson's disease affects the nervous system, which is responsible for coordinating movements, muscle tone and activity. It is a chronic process that begins with the degeneration and death of neurons.
In Spain there are 80,000 patients with Parkinson's
Dopaminergic neurons are responsible for the transmission of information between neurons through chemical and electrical mechanisms, using a chemical called Dopamine as an intermediary. More than 70% of the damage suffered by these neurons begins years before the appearance of the first symptoms characteristic of this disease. Therefore, it would be beneficial to be able to diagnose Parkinson's disease at an early stage, being able to stop the progression of the disease.
The symptoms of the disease (slowness of movement, body stiffness, tremor, walking problems, etc.) are externalized from a loss of neurons located in the junction between the brain, the spinal cord and the trunk of the brain. encephalon These neurons have the function of coordinating and controlling movements and muscle tone.
Although there are treatments that fight the signs and symptoms typical of Parkinson's, there are no novel advances in their origin and progression, so the scientists have several objectives: identify the origin and neurodegenerative process of the disease and find drugs that control symptoms such as : loss of smell or sleep disorders.