"An Essay on the Shaking Palsy".

It is important to note, when reading an essay on the Shaking Palsy, that Parkinson was working in uncharted territory. The study of neurological disease as we know it today was very much in its infancy, and the degenerative diseases that are so familiar now, such as Motor Neuron Disease or Alzheimer’s Dementia, were still many years from being established as clinical entities. As the medical discipline of neurology took shape over the course of the 19th century, a number of its founding fathers (most notably Jean-Martin Charcot in Paris and Williams Gowers in London) acknowledged the contribution that Parkinson had made in bringing together and synthesising the case reports that he published in his essay on the Shaking Palsy. The most obvious consequence of this was the naming of the disease in recognition of Parkinson’s influence on the field.

James Parkinson: the man behind the shaking palsy

This blue plaque commemorates the home of James Parkinson at 1 Hoxton Square, London

famous work, ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy ..

We know very few details of his early life. His parents, John and Mary, had three children – James (the eldest), William and Mary. John Parkinson worked as a doctor in and around Hoxton, being a member of the company of surgeons, and this obviously influenced the young James Parkinson.

An Essay on the Shaking Palsy James Parkinson, Member ..

In the days before such a job description existed, James Parkinson operated as a general practitioner in Hoxton for several decades, later in partnership with his son (also called James), who took over the running of the practise from his father when he retired. In addition to attending to the general health and wellbeing of the people of Hoxton, Parkinson was also heavily involved in the welfare of patients in the district’s numerous mental health institutions.

Parkinson would have known the disease as "paralysis agitans", or the shaking palsy.

“An essay on the shaking palsy” 200 years old | SpringerLink

Much is made in the essay of the inadequacy of the treatments available to sufferers. The optimism of Parkinson’s humanist tendencies prompted him to suggest that: “there appears to be sufficient reason for hoping that some remedial process may ere long be discovered, by which, at least, the progress of the disease may be stopped”. Sadly it was to be 140 years before the work of Arvid Carlsson and others eventually led to the development of levodopa as a symptomatic treatment for the Shaking Palsy, and we still await an intervention that actually retards the progress of the disease.

“An essay on the shaking palsy ..

James Parkinson died on 21 of December 1824 on Kingsland Road, only a few hundred yards from the house where he grew up. His passing was much lamented by the Parish of St. Leonard’s, and was noted with regret in the Parish records, as well as in the Gentleman’s Magazine.

The neurochemical changes behind Parkinson's weren't identified until 1950, by Dr.

an essay on the shaking palsy | Download eBook pdf, …

“This little pamphlet”: an exhibition at the Library of the Royal Society of Medicine to mark the bicentenary of James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy opens on 6th November 2017 and runs until 27th January 2018.

Unfortunately, Parkinson didn't have any idea as to how the shaking palsy was to be cured.

An Essay on the Shaking Palsy | Are you Scicurious?

James Parkinson, a surgeon and political activist working in London around the turn of the 19th century, was the first person to describe ‘paralysis agitans’, a condition that would later be renamed Parkinson’s disease. Here, to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of his most famous work, ‘An Essay on the Shaking Palsy’, Dr Patrick Lewis, associate professor in cellular and molecular neuroscience at the University of Reading, UK, reflects on the man and his work

There have also been cases of Parkinson's found after drug abusers ingested contaminated meth.

A new look at James Parkinson's Essay on the Shaking Palsy

For many years there was no monument to his achievements. However a plaque commemorating James Parkinson and his work was placed in the nave of St. Leonard’s church in 1955, the 200th anniversary of his birth. Unfortunately, no image of James Parkinson has survived, but through his prolific writings, we can generate a good idea as to nature of this man. What emerges is a portrait of someone who was very much a product of the enlightenment, and in many ways ahead of his time clinically, scientifically and politically.