What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson Disease is a progressive degenerative disorder of the nervous system that controls the muscle movement. It is more common in older people, however, young people might also be affected.
What are the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
Tremor of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face. Back and forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger at rest (pill-rolling) is a characteristic feature of Parkinson Disease.
Slowed movement. Your ability to move may reduce and your movement may slow down. Difficulty in getting out of a chair, shorter steps when you walk and feet sticking to the floor as you walk make you difficult to move. Rigid and stiff muscles limit range of motion and cause pain.
Impaired balance and coordination. You may have stoop posture and balance problems.
Loss of automatic movements. You may have reduced ability in unconscious movements such as blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk, and loss of gesture when talking.
Speech changes. You may slurred and monotone speech as a result of Parkinson’s Disease
Writing changes. Writing may become small and difficult.
Other symptoms are depression, anxiety, sleep disruptions, excessive sweating, difficulty in swallowing, chewing and speaking; constipation and urinary incontinence or frequency.
Everything is harder when your body turns against you
What are the causes of Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease occurs when dopamine, a chemical which produce smooth, controlled movements is depleted. Dopamine loss is due to both genetic and environmental factors such as stress and inflammation.
Who is at risk for Parkinson’s disease?
Age. Risk of Parkinson’s disease increases with age.
Sex. Men are more likely to be affected compare to women.
Heredity. Chances of having Parkinson’s disease increases if you have a close relative with Parkinson’s disease.
Others. Exposure to toxins such as pesticides and herbicides; head trauma and illness might increase risk of Parkinson’s disease.
How Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is based on medical history and neurological examination. There are currently no laboratory tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. However, doctors may sometimes do brain scans or laboratory tests to rule out other diseases.
How to treat Parkinson’s disease?
Currently, there is no treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Medications such as Carbidopa-Levodopa, Dopamine agonist, MAO B inhibitors, Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors, Anticholinergic, Amantadine may help relief the symptoms. Consult your doctor for the appropriate treatment.
What is the prognosis of Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is chronic and progressive. It persists and worsens over time. Medications can help control the disease progression.
What are the steps to maintain a healthy brain?
Exercise Exercise 30 minutes daily slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Eat balance and healthy diet which contains plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and food rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Diet high in fiber and drinking adequate fluid help prevent constipation.
Avoid Illicit Drugs and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Manage stress. Engage in meditation, relaxation therapy to reduce stress.
Brain workout. Stimulate mental activity help with healthy brain aging.
Maintain social ties.
What can you do to care for someone with Parkinson’s?
Someone newly diagnosed with Parkinson's may not need any practical help. But it can be important for them to have someone to talk to, for emotional support.
As time goes by and Parkinson's symptoms develop, the person you care for may rely on you more for support. Because of this, it's important to know how to get the support you need with your caring role.
Finding out as much as you can about Parkinson's can help you understand what kind of care is required and how to manage the treatment of Parkinson's.
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