Types of Parkinson’s Disease

There are two types of Parkinson’s disease currently recognized in medical science: Parkinson’s disease (primary Parkinson’s) and Parkinsonian syndrome (secondary Parkinson’s).

Parkinson's DiseaseParkinson’s Disease or Primary Parkinson’s

This is the most common form of the disorder and what most people think about when they hear the term “Parkinson’s.” Current medical practices typically classify Parkinson’s disease as idiopathic, which means without a cause or something that arises spontaneously. However, there have been several genes that have been identified recently that has led to two distinct classifications of Parkinson’s disease: that of genetic origin, known as familial Parkinson’s disease, and that which rises independently of genetic predisposition, known as sporadic Parkinson’s disease.

Contrary to the belief that Parkinson’s disease has no identifiable cause(s), research indicates that oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, pesticide exposure and improper detoxification are all linked with the death of dopaminergic neurons (the main source of dopamine) which can lead to Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinsonian Syndrome or Secondary Parkinson’s

neurotransmitterParkinsonian syndrome occurs secondary to some other disease or disorder, including brain tumors, drugs, toxins, encephalitis or head trauma. For example, brain damage sustained from repeated blows to the head or from certain drugs can damage the dopaminergic cells and lead to the symptoms of primary Parkinson’s disease.

In particular, drugs that act on the dopamine system within the brain, including anti-psychotics, some antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, the anti-arrhythmic drug amiodarone as well as many illicit drugs can all induce Parkinsonism over time.

The good news is that no matter the cause of Parkinson’s disease and symptoms, the underlying neurotransmitter deficit can be overcome using the proper blend of amino acids and co-factors to restore optimal neurotransmitter function utilizing the neurons that have not yet been destroyed.