September 30, 2014 | Technology Forecasts
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain's substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) region. The neurotransmitter dopamine regulates neurons in the SNpc that control muscular movement and coordination. As dopamine-producing cells die, dopamine levels fall, leading to uncontrolled muscle tremors and movements.1,2 Untreated, PD will progressively worsen and can eventually result in total disability. PD may lead to brain function deterioration and premature death.3
In the United States, as many as 1.5 million people are living with PD, and about 50,000 to 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. PD-related complications are the 14th leading cause of death in the United States.4 Although the risk of developing PD increases with age, about 4% of...