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The Secret Life of the Brain
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History of the Brain
An Essay on the Shaking Palsy

"An Essay on the Shaking Palsy"

James Parkinson publishes An Essay on the Shaking Palsy, which describes the degenerative disease of the nervous system that now bears his name.
Parkinson states that the syndrome is characterized by an involuntary tremor in the limbs combined with difficulty in initiating and controlling movements. He notes that although it is physically debilitating, the disease generally does not affect the mental lucidity of the patient. Today Parkinsonism is widely studied by neuroscientists because of the insight it provides into the brain mechanisms that translate thoughts and intentions into physical actions.

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Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

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