Parkinson's disease is a degenerative illness caused fundamentally by the gradual breakdown of a specific part of the brain. While this is the primary cause of Parkinson disease, there can be a number of reasons why this degeneration occurs.
The vast of majority of people suffering from Parkinson disease have been told that the cause is unspecific; meaning that there's no way of knowing why it has happened. Others, on the other hand may have developed Parkinson disease because of the genetics they've inherited from parents or grandparents; if someone's mother or father had Parkinson disease then they are also prone to it. Scientists have confirmed that there are 9 possible genes in human Dna that can be responsible for the onset of this disease. Various traumas (specifically to the head) can be to blame, as can exposure to certain toxins such as pesticides. While each of these causes is starkly different they all share one thing in common: they cause degeneration of the brain's Substantia Nigra and as a result we can call this the primary cause of Parkinson disease.
The Substantia Nigra is the part of the brain that is responsible for dopamine production. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that allows messages to be passed through the brain and ultimately control movement. When there is a loss of dopamine carrying out intended actions can be difficult, which we see quite clearly in people with Parkinson's disease who take longer than average to answer a question, or who find something as simple as picking up a cup takes well over 10 seconds. The symptoms of Parkinson's disease can vary widely depending on the severity of the condition and the individual differences of the person affected. Alongside the fact that the cause of Parkinson disease can vary widely too, care can be completely different from one patient to the next.
So we know exactly what causes the Parkinson's disease to develop: the degeneration of the Substantia Nigra, yet what causes this to happen remains unclear. At present scientists and medical experts are researching the production of dopamine to see how the death of dopamine producing cells can be prevented. If this can be done then Parkinson's disease could be prevented when it's caught early. If scientists manage to find a way or reversing this kind of cell death then a cure for the cause of Parkinson disease will have been found.
If you, or a family member, have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease then it's important to understand that while the causes have been narrowed down to genetics, trauma or exposure to toxins these may not be the only causes that exist. The most important thing fo you to do now is seek a long term routine of care, treatment and preventative measures so that quality of life is preserved for as long as possible. Parkinson's disease is a very unfortunate, debilitating and cruel disease but with the right network of doctors and friends to help you seek treatment as early on in the illness as possible you could slow down its progression considerably.