Healthy Living

Intracranial Visual System Changes May Predict Parkinson’s Disease

Intracranial Visual System Changes May Predict Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most debilitating conditions that affects every one, no matter their race and demographic. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) accumulated reports shared that Caucasians (Europeans and North Americans) have the highest rates of Parkinson's, followed by those of Asian (Chinese and Japanese) and African descent.  

It is estimated that 10 to 14 incidents in a population of 100,000 can occur per year, while the disease is prevalent in every 18 individuals, with the same population size. This data only enforces the idea that Parkinson's disease is a serious issue that many face worldwide, and it deserves every bit of attention that it is given today by numerous research efforts that are working to discover a cure.

Over the years, studies have come up with significant findings, and one of the more recent, and noteworthy, findings reveal that Parkinson's may actually be predicted by vision changes due to the brain. This could be a very important step in diagnosing the disease early on, and this may also help researchers find a way to prevent Parkinson's disease in the future.

Parkinson’s disease as a neurodegenerative disorder

Parkinson’s disease was first described as ‘shaking palsy’ when it was first discovered in 1817. Nobody understood much of the disease at that time, but people now know that it is a neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system. To put it simply, Parkinson's disease involves the nerve cells either breaking down or dying as the disease progresses. This loss of neurons decreases the levels of dopamine, which makes the brain act abnormally and causes symptoms to be present.

The nature of Parkinson’s has a lot to do with the changes in the brain. But, as of right now, there is no clear cause of the disease, but patients usually exhibit similar changes. For instance, experts have identified a specific microscopic substance within the brain cells called Lewy bodies. This substance They occur in clumps and replicate over time.

One of the many substances found in these clumps is the alpha-synuclein, more commonly known as A-synuclein. This is a protein substance that is known to occur naturally. The mysterious part is that this substance cannot be broken down into the cells. These Lewy bodies then have long been an important focus in scientific tests and research. However, this is truly just a single aspect to look after. There are more essential observations that merit attention.

To date, people know that Parkinson’s disease mostly occurs later in life, typically between ages 50 and 60. Men are also more prone to the neurodegenrative disease, but anyone with a family history of it has an increased chance of contracting the disease. Ongoing exposure to toxins may also contribute to the nerve cells' gradual damage. Despite everything that has been clearly identified, there is no single brain scan test that can precisely diagnose or predict the disease. The focus is the same, however—predicting biomarkers in the brain that can shed light on questions about Parkinson’s disease.