How the aging brain can affect your finances


Aging brain © Fotolia.com

Substantia Nigra

As many as one million Americans currently live with Parkinson’s disease. The disease results in the death of specific dopamine-releasing neurons in a region of the brain called the substantia nigra, deep within the brain. It is most often treated with a drug called Levodopa, which helps the brain create more dopamine, replenishing the loss from the deteriorating substantia nigra cells. But this treatment can result in a variety of impulse-control disorders, including pathological gambling and overspending, in approximately 3% to 8% of patients. Impulse-control disorders can eventually wreak havoc with an elderly person’s bottom line.