Motor Symptoms Associated with Increased Risk of Futur Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson's Disease Risk

Elderly people who complain of stiffness, loss of balance and tremors may be at increased risk for future Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study posted online today that will appear in the April 2006 print issue of the Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

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Parkinson's disease develops over time as neurons in certain areas of the brain that control muscle movement slowly waste away, according to background information in the article. The degeneration occurs in areas that produce a neurotransmitter known as dopamine. Typical symptoms of PD-including severe tremors, rigidity and slow movements-begin when the brain loses more than half of its dopamine production ability.

Lonneke M. L. de Lau, M.D., and colleagues at the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, hypothesized that individuals who were developing

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