NeuroHealth: Our brains, spines, nerves & minds are all connected. Now you can connect to the latest info from the University of Michigan’s neuro & mental health specialists, and neuroscientists, all in one place.
As we continue to remember comedian and actor Robin Williams, and in light of the recently shared news of his being diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s disease, we sat down with William Dauer, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the University of Michigan Movement Disorders Group to understand more about Parkinson’s and its potential connection with depression.
William Dauer, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the University of Michigan Movement Disorders Group
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which there is a progressive death of brain cells, also known as neurodegeneration. The loss of these neurons, which takes place most prominently in areas of the brain that control movement, leads to the characteristic symptoms of the disease: slowness of movement, soft voice, tremors, and difficulties with posture and gait, leading to devastating falls. It is increasingly appreciated, however, that the neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease affects the brain widely, leading to many other “non-motor”symptoms – the most feared of which is dementia, but that also includes symptoms such as depression, pain, abnormal sweating, and sleep disturbances.
Is there a cure for Parkinson’s?
No, neurons that use the chemical transmitter dopamine are particularly important for the symptoms of Continue reading →
Life is a journey. The Detour Ahead road sign acknowledges that dementia or memory loss significantly alters a person’s journey through life. Other road sign tips for living with memory loss will be introduced over the next few months.
Just as detours are not a normal, expected part of your daily commute or family road trip, dementia is not a normal part of aging. As you age, a few changes can be expected such as:
Increase in forgetfulness. The older we are, the more we have learned and have to remember. It is normal to become more forgetful after age 50.
16-year-old soccer player Maggie McDonald is back in the game after a concussion last summer
Today, the White House hosted a summit on concussions in youth sports, drawing national attention to the importance of preventing and properly treating brain injuries in kids and teens.
Among the experts selected to take part: U-M concussion expert Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., head of the U-M NeuroSport clinic. He and his team focus solely on diagnosing and managing concussions and other brain and nerve issues in athletes of all levels.
Just hours before he left for Washington, he cleared yet another young concussion patient to return to the sport she loves. He says she’s a great example of how proper concussion care can help many patients get back in the game.
Postpartum depression affects many women in the first months after a baby is born.
They’re supposed to be the happiest times of your life, right? But being pregnant or a new mom can have a dark side – temporary or lasting depression.
How quickly you get help, and what kind of help you get, for symptoms like moodiness, insomnia and loss of appetite can make a big difference for you and your baby.
Maria Muzik, M.D., M.S., who leads a University of Michigan clinic focused on mental health during pregnancy and the first year of a child’s life, offers more information on this important issue. May is the awareness month for these issues.
Brain damage can begin within minutes, so it’s important to know the warning signs of stroke.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked or bursts. Without oxygen from the blood, that part of the brain starts to die. The part of the body controlled by the damaged area of the brain then stops working properly.
Brain damage can begin within minutes of experiencing a stroke, so it is important to know the symptoms and signs of stroke and to seek immediate treatment by calling 911.
Warning signs of stroke
Common stroke symptoms experienced by both men and women include:
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body.
Sudden trouble speaking or understanding.
Sudden trouble walking or difficulty with balance or coordination or dizziness.
NOTICE: Except where otherwise noted, all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. You are free to copy, distribute, adapt, transmit, or make commercial use of this work as long as you attribute the University of Michigan Health System as the original creator and include a link to this article.