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I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three and a half years ago at 29 years old. Like all that hear such news, I have felt the fear, anxiety and despair that goes along with it. But, for whatever reason, at some point all that negativity gave way to a desire to understand, an almost childlike curiosity to figure out what is happening inside my head. Over the last nine months I have allowed that curiosity to be a driving force in my life and it has led me on a tour around North America visiting some of the best neuroscience labs there are and meeting with some of the top researchers in the world.

The Benefits Of Understanding

I now have the terminology needed to describe for myself what is happening to me as well as just about anyone can. Here is a brief summary of what science today has to say about my Parkinson’s disease – the N370s variant of the GBA gene I carry caused a deficiency in my lysosome which as a result can no longer clear the build up of alpha-synuclein proteins which has had a toxic effect on many of the organelles in my neurons leading to the death of over 80% of the dopaminergic cells in my substantia nigra causing the axons that innervate my striatum to no longer signal the release of dopamine in my putamen resulting in the action potentials in the receiving neurons across the post-synaptic gap to sputter stochastically rather than fire steadily leading to a cascade of misfiring neurons through my brain, down my spinal cord and out to the ends of my limbs where the muscles don’t know what to do with the jumbled message they receive and thus tremor or seize up.

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May 1, 2017 at 1:48 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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