cannot find a neurologist that believes the car accident was responsible for my PD. It seems so logical to me but they insist loss of dopamine must have started 8 years prior to first signs showing up. It amazes me that they can come to such a conclusion when they know so little about the cause and have no conclusive test for PD bar an autopsy on the brain. Are you a specialist? Do you know someone?
Head trauma can cause and exacerbate Parkinson's disease. You do not have to hit your head on an object (steering wheel, windshield) to injure the brain. Even at moderate rates of speed, traumatic brain injuries can and do occur. Three separate processes work to injure the brain: bruising (bleeding), tearing, and swelling.
Parkinson's may be suspected in patients with the following symptoms:
Slowness and difficulty of movement. These are usually the first symptoms, so the patient will be asked to walk and probably to get out of a chair, preferably a deep one. (Early gait disturbance, however, often indicates a disease other than Parkinson's disease.)
A tremor when their limb is relaxed. (As many as 25% of Parkinson's patients, however, will not have a tremor.)
Symptoms on one side of the body.
A powerful early response to the drug levodopa (the primary treatment for Parkinson's). It should be noted that some patients with a very similar condition called multiple system atrophy will have a good initial response to levodopa, but it is not usually sustained.
Many medical conditions may cause symptoms of Parkinson's disease:
Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
Lewy bodies variant (LBV), also called dementia with Lewy bodies
Encephalitis caused by influenza
Progressive supranuclear palsy
Multiple system atrophy (previously called Shy-Drager syndrome)
Other problems that may mimic Parkinson's disease include Wilson's disease, thyroid abnormalities, vitamin B12 deficiency, hydrocephalus, tumours, having the fragile X trait (but not the full disorder), immune reaction to gluten, drug side effects.