PARKINSON’S DISEASE

We’ve seen movies on the parkinson’s disease (i.e Love And Other Drugs) and how it affects the person, it is a long term incurable disease but there is still hope, hope in terms of delaying the signs of parkinson’s & medication. Research for a prevention is still on. But what is the Parkinson’s Disease ? It is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects balance, movement and often causes tremors. Dopamine levels drop due to nerve cells dying, leading to the signs of Parkinson's disease. It often starts with a tremor in one hand. Other symptoms are slow movement, stiffness, and loss of balance.The average age that people get the disease is 62, but people over 60 have only a 2% to 4% chance of getting the disease. Men are more likely to have it than women, while there is a reduced risk in tobacco smokers and those who drink coffee or tea. Diagnosis of typical cases is mainly based on symptoms, with tests such as neuroimaging being used to rule out other diseases.As the disease progresses and neurons continue to be lost, these medications become redundant complication marked by involuntary writhing movements.

 

Symptoms and signs of Parkinson’s disease ?

  • Tremor: can occur at rest, in the hands, limbs, or can be postural.
  • Muscular: difficulty standing, walking, bodily movements, involuntary movements, muscle rigidity, problems with coordination, rhythmic muscle contractions, slow bodily movement, stiffness, or slow shuffling gait.
  • Sleep: daytime sleepiness, early awakening, nightmares, or restless sleep.
  • Whole body: dizziness, fatigue, restlessness.
  • Speech: impaired voice, soft speech.
  • Mood: feel anxious or apathy.
  • Nasal: distorted sense of smell or loss of smell.
  • Urinary: involuntary dribbling of urine

 

Self-diagnosis

To check for slowed movement, tap your finger and thumb together or tap your foot

To check for rigidity, relax, while he moves your neck, arms, and legs.

To check for body balance, stand while being gently pulled from behind.

 

What causes Parkinson’s disease ?

It is caused due to reduced level of dopamine as the dopamine-producing cells called the ‘dopaminergic neurons’ in the brain have died and stopped production, which in turn creates abnormality in the brain as dopamine acts a messenger to the part of the brain which is responsible for movement and coordination. The causes are unknown but believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. Those with a family member affected have a higher chances of getting the disease.There is also an increased risk in people exposed to pesticides and those who have had prior head injuries.

 

Dealing with the disease.

Medications can help control the symptoms.Initial treatment is with the antiparkinson medication - levodopa, with dopamine agonists being used once levodopa’s effectiveness reduces. Diet and some forms of rehabilitation have shown some effectiveness in the improving symptoms.Surgery to place the microelectrodes for deep brain stimulation has been used to reduce motor symptoms in severe cases where drugs are ineffective.

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