The study of early texts that describe Parkinson's disease and other forms of parkinsonism remains vital as the search for causes of these illnesses intensifies. Epidemiological and neurotoxicological research that will be reviewed in this text has focused increasingly on the putative role of environmental factors to parkinsonian syndromes, and many current industrial exposures did not exist in prior eras. It may not be by chance that the first medical description of Parkinson's disease emerged from the center of international industrialization in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. The identification of atypical parkinsonian disorders naturally followed the identification of the archetype of Parkinson's disease, but establishing exactly when such cases came to medical attention has not been precisely defined. In this light, readers of early medicine, literature, and other disciplines offer an important resource for research efforts in the 21st century. As readers examine the evidence for genetic and environmental causes of the atypical parkinsonian disorders discussed in this book, a vigilance to literature, artworks, and early medical descriptions will complement these data and may further the understanding of these collective entities.
Was this article helpful?