There are more than 1 million Americans who live with Parkinson’s disease, with approximately 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Parkinson’s disease falls into a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells.The four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremors, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may struggle with walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks.
Parkinson’s disease normally affects individuals over the age of 50. Initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are subtle and occur gradually. As the disease progresses, the shaking, or tremors, which affects the majority of patients may begin to interfere with daily activities. Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions.
Welders may have a higher-than-average rate of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, the results of a new study suggest. Researchers found that among more than 1,400 welders from Alabama, the prevalence of Parkinson-like symptoms, including tremor, muscle rigidity and slowed movement, was 7 to 10 times higher than the norm for the general population.
In an earlier study of 15 career welders, the same investigators found that the men started suffering Parkinson’s symptoms at an atypically early age, at age 46 on average, versus age 63 in a comparison group of non-welders. That led the researchers to speculate that an as yet unknown toxin in welding fumes might speed the onset of Parkinson’s disease in people who would likely have developed the disease at an older age. That study, published in 2001, has since been cited in lawsuits against welding-rod manufacturers.
Late in 2003, a jury awarded $1 million to a plaintiff who claimed that years of inhaling toxic welding fumes caused his Parkinson’s disease, and thousands of similar lawsuits have since been filed.
A new study scheduled to be released within the next week in England will serve to strengthen concerns that there is a clear link between insecticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease. The “Geoparkinson” study examined the backgrounds of 767 volunteer subjects in five countries who have Parkinson’s and 1,989 healthy control subjects with similar backgrounds.
Mirapex (Generic: Pramipexole) is a popular medication used to control tremors associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Mirapex is a dopamine agonist and works by mimicking the effects of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine helps people control their movements and increases feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Because Parkinson’s Disease occurs because of a lack of dopamine in certain areas of the brain, Mirapex can help ease some of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s. Mirapex has been linked to compulsive behaviors such as excessive gambling. Permax (pergolide) has been linked to heart valve leaks and damage. Dostinex (cabergoline) has also been linked to cardiac valvulopathy.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Parkinson’s Disease
If you or a loved one worked as a Welder and were diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease as a result of being exposed to welding fumes, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified toxic substances lawyer. Additionally, if you took Parkinson’s medications such as Permax, Mirapex or Dostinex, and you suffered serious side effects please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by our defective drug lawyers or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).