Final Project: Parkinson

 Parkinson’s diseases is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects the movement (Mayo Clinic). It is an illness that affects ages from 6 to 60 plus and both genders. This illness also progresses during the years. This illness doesn’t have a cure but there are medications to comfort the symptoms. Medical Anthropology can help learning the suffering of the patient and family.


The biological and ecological approach which has physiological and environmental elements that can reflect on one’s health regarding this illness. There are more physiological elements that are effecting the patient than environmental. Parkinson is more in the brain like how some neurons just die. Loss neurons than produces a chemical messenger in the brain which is called dopamine. When dopamine levels decreases, it cause brain abnormal brain activity leads to Parkinson (Nature). Some of the symptoms might be Slowness of movement, involuntary shanking, shiftiness in arms, legs and trunk and imbalance or falls. Some environmental factor that affect it are like having farming as a career and working with pesticides or people working with harmful chemicals can lead to Parkinson (Scientific American). Medical Anthropology can help educate others about the symptoms.


Ethnomedical approach in medical Anthropology researches various explanatory models regarding health and sick roles, healing systems and health seeking behaviors (Ethnomedical system). Western medical treats Parkinson as any disorder which can be fixed by use of surgery and medication to easy up the symptoms. Ethnomedical approach looks how the patients are treated in different medical system and what kind of healing system they go through. Parkinson since it is a global illness so there are so many cultures who use alternate practice like spiritual practices to submit the body to god and things. In Parkinson since there is no cure medical anthropology will help find different treatments to the Illness which lead to comfortable death for the patent and family.


Experimental Approach is where we follow patients experience through the illness and use illness narrative to describe the illness. Illness narrative like chaos, restitution and quest (Illness narrative) can differentiate the illness in various category to find treatments and healing system that can be beneficial to culture, society and politics. Parkinson is categories chaos because it is chronic and there is lot of social suffering. Parkinson can have the patient’s family in social isolation. Experimental Approach will help determine how the patient, family of the patient and society can affect the suffering of the patient.


Critical Approach looks at Biomedicine as an institution (cultural of Biomedicine) and establish the dichotomies within the realm of medicine (trends of biomedicine). Biomedicine looks at it as a mental illness which can out these diseases in stigma that might let to negative reaction from the society that can worsen patients suffering. Life/ Death, Male/ Female and Sick/ Health are all used in these illness because there is big range of ages where patients can have different social status, health status and financial status which can categories in specific dichotomies.


Applied approach is one of important approach in medical anthropology medical industry use the information that medical Anthropologist gather to make decision regarding to the a diseases or health outcomes. Medical anthropologist research global health problem and find common ground between culture and politics (Applied Medical Anthropology). Parkinson can be found as global health and should get analyze to find a cure or comfortable suffering and common ground between culture and politics.


In conclusion I would like say why I choose this illness is because my grandfather has it and it the last stage of Parkinson I know what he went through so with the help of Medical Anthropology we’ll probably be able to find a treatment to help any other patient or people suffering through this curable illness. All the approach would be useful but applied approach will help globally and educate others about this illness.


“National Parkinson Foundation: Believe in Better.” National Parkinson Foundation. Accessed August 18, 2016. November 06, 2013. Accessed August 18, 2016.
“Parkinson’s Disease.” Causes. Accessed August 18, 2016.
Stetka, Bret. “Parkinson’s Disease and Pesticides: What’s the Connection?” Scientific American. Accessed August 18, 2016.

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