Origins of Parkinson’s

Question:

I wonder when Parkinson’s Disease started? I wonder if it when theĀ  industrial revolution began, in the late 18th century, or before that?

Annette

Response:

The individual who is credited with isolating the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is James Parkinson who wrote an article entitled “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” in 1817. Forty years later the symptoms of Parkinson’s were identified as “Parkinson’s Disease” by Jean Martin Charcot. His name is thus now used as the diagnostic term neurological diagnosis of symptoms by medical doctors.

Did the symptoms exist before then? Obviously we do not know for sure, but there is evidence in early writings of neurological problems that existed hundreds and hundreds of years previously. Since Parkinson’s is affected by stress, I suspect that the prevalence of Parkinson’s has been more pronounced during those periods of history which were tumultuous.

The neurological system is very delicate. It does not take much to challenge it. It would seem logical to me to conclude that the symptons were present in one form or another throughout history.

Keep in mind also that there is a very long list of symptoms which overlap with many other “diseases.” It is obvious that many of these symptoms have been present throughout history (e.g.: speech impairments, masked face, depression, constipation, etc.)

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