Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive neurological condition that affects a small group of nerve cells (neurons) in a part of the brain. While this condition is best known for affecting muscular control, balance, and mobility, it can also impact the senses, thinking ability, mental health, and other aspects of life. The cause for this condition is still a puzzle. Although there is no defined cure so far, many treatment options are available to improve the symptoms and quality of life which include medications and surgery. Though it is not fatal, it can cause serious complications.

Types Of Parkinson's Disease

The types of Parkinson's disease are as follows:

  • Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease
  • Vascular Parkinsonism
  • Drug-induced parkinsonism
  • Early-Onset Parkinson's
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Normal-pressure hydrocephalus
Parkinson's disease

Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms:

Parkinson's disease symptoms appear slowly. They usually begin with a tremor in one hand and a sensation of rigidity throughout the body. Other symptoms emerge over time, and some people develop dementia.

The following are some early indications of Parkinson's disease:

  • Tremors involving movement change.
  • Impaired coordination and balance might lead a person to drop objects or fall over.
  • The inability to smell
  • When walking, a person's gait changes, and they lean forward slightly or stumble.
  • Changes in the nerves that control facial muscles induce fixed facial expressions.
  • A tremor in the voice or a weaker tone
  • Handwriting is more cramped and smaller
  • Sleep disturbances caused by restless legs and other factors
  • Symptoms of movement may begin on one side of the body and spread to the other.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Mood changes, including depression
  • Chewing and swallowing problems,
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Skin conditions
  • Dementia, delusions, and hallucinations are all things that can happen over time.
Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

When to see a doctor?

If a person feels trembling, tight muscles, a loss of balance, or a slowing of movement, he or she should see the doctor. The doctor might refer the patient to the specialists like neurologists or geriatricians if the symptoms suggest the onset of Parkinson's disease. Get the best treatment for Parkinson’s Disease from our Neurologists at Medicover Hospitals.


Causes and Risks

Parkinson's disease is a neurological ailment that occurs when the brain undergoes changes. Although the exact reason for this is unclear, scientists have discovered some variants. It is a complex condition that affects people differently. This condition affects around 10 million people globally every year, according to a research. Although genetics and environmental factors are believed to have a role in Parkinson's disease, the exact cause remains unclear. Data shows that genetic mutations in the alpha-synuclein gene, for example, may be linked to the disease. Additionally, exposure to specific toxins such as MPTP or manganese may cause Parkinsonian symptoms in genetically susceptible individuals.

Parkinson's Disease Causes

Risk Factors

The risk factors are as follows:

Age

Since it mainly affects persons aged 60 and over, the risk increases as they become older.

Family history

One is more likely to get it if their parent, brother, or sister has it.

Job

Some activities, such as farming or manufacturing labour, might expose people to chemicals associated with Parkinson's disease.

Serious head injury

One may be more prone to get Parkinson's disease if they hit their head hard enough to lose consciousness or forget things.

Gender

Men get it more than women. Doctors aren't sure why.

Some drugs and medications

Some chemicals and medications can cause Parkinsonism, which is characterised by tremors and other symptoms but is not the same as Parkinson's disease.

Toxin exposure

Pesticides, solvents, metals, and other pollutants.


Complications:

The consequences of Parkinson's disease on mobility are arguably the most well-known. Rigid muscles, delayed movements and shaking are the most obvious signs. The following are some well-known complications:

Cognitive Problems:

In the later stages of the disease, as reasoning and thinking are impaired, cognitive problems can develop.

Depression and Anxiety:

People with Parkinson's disease experience emotional changes, including depression and anxiety.

Difficulty in Swallowing:

As Parkinson's disease progresses, some individuals may have swallowing problems. This can also cause drooling and an excess of saliva in the mouth.

Dementia:

Although Parkinson's disease is primarily a movement disorder, it can also affect brain regions that control thinking and memories, leading to dementia in patients.

Impaired sense of smell:

A decreased sense of smell is a common early symptom of Parkinson's disease that is often ignored.


Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is challenging at any stage of the disease, especially during the initial stages. A diagnosis cannot be made with a specific test. Physical and neurological exams will most likely be performed periodically to measure changes in reflexes, coordination, muscular strength, and mental function. Doctors use clinical factors to diagnose the condition.

Factors to consider include

Blood tests

Although blood tests cannot diagnose Parkinson's disease, they can assist the doctor in identifying alternative causes of parkinsonism, such as multiple system atrophy or corticobasal degeneration.

Genetic testing

If they have a family history of parkinsonism, genetic testing may help the doctor identify the main reason.

DaTscan

A DaTscan is a type of imaging that allows a doctor to examine how much dopamine is present in the brain. If the scan reveals an abnormally low level, the doctor's Parkinson's diagnosis may be confirmed.

Magnetic resonance imagining (MRI)

A brain tumour, normal pressure hydrocephalus, or vascular parkinsonism can all be detected using an MRI


Treatment

Parkinson's disease has no known cure; however, medicines can help individuals manage their symptoms. The following are the treatment options for Parkinson's disease:

Medications

Parkinson's disease is treated with various medications.

  • Carbidopa and levodopa are tremor-controlling drugs used in combination with other drugs to reduce the tremors.
  • Benzodiazepines, sometimes known as tranquillisers, can temporarily relieve tremors.
  • Beta-blockers might also be used to ease out some symptoms of the disease like high blood pressure.
  • Anti-seizure drugs like primidone can help those with tremors which aren't responding to beta-blockers.
  • Most tremors can be treated with botulinum toxin, often known as Botox.

Deep brain stimulation

Doctors surgically insert electrodes in the brain area that controls movement in the DBS operation. The gadget then transmits electrical impulses into the brain through electrodes along a wire. By interfering with the electrical signals that produce symptoms, these impulses can help avoid them.

Occupational, relaxation, and physical therapy

With stability, coordination, and relaxation exercises, a physical therapist can help persons with tremors improve their strength and muscular control


Lifestyle Changes And Self Care:

Making lifestyle changes may help people with Parkinson's disease.

Healthy diet:

Constipation is a common symptom of Parkinson's disease, so eating a high-fibre diet of fruits, vegetables, and grains, as well as drinking enough water, might help avoid it.

Exercise:

Exercise can improve physical strength and balance while reducing sadness and anxiety.

Work:

Simple workplace adjustments, flexible hours, and regular medication assessment and adjustment may be required to continue working safely and effectively

Relationships and sex:

Sexual desire, performance, or pleasure may be reduced in patients with Parkinson's disease. Others may experience a preoccupation with sexual ideas due to dopamine substitution medications. If this is happening, individuals should seek medical advice.


Dos and Don’ts

A diagnosis of Parkinson's disease comes as a major surprise to the person and their family. However, the specified dos and don'ts can assist in avoiding the negative outcomes of the disease. The following are some guidelines:

Do’s Don’ts
Exercise as it can help a long way in dealing with Parkinson's Disease. Be hard on the circumstances.
Keep a positive attitude, strong will and determination. Stop assuming that everything is bad.
Use a walking stick if required. Keep yourself isolated
Consume hot and cold foods separately, Eat too many sugary foods and drinks
Increase the fibre intake. Consume too much sodium, trans fat, cholesterol, and saturated fats
Use a shower chair inside the shower. Stand up from a chair or bed suddenly

A little awareness and self-care will help you fight the condition positively and improve your quality of life.


Parkinson's Disease Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover, we have the best team of Neurologists and Neurosurgeons who work together to provide Parkinson's disease treatment with utmost precision. Our highly skilled team utilizes the latest medical equipment, diagnostic procedures and technologies to treat various types of neurological diseases and ailments. For Parkinson’s Disease, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to provide all-around care to the patients and attend to all of their medical needs at once for faster and sustained recovery.

Citations

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/parkinsons-disease https://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkinson%27s_disease https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/
https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2017/06/22/parkinsons-disease-complications/
https://www.parkinsonsnsw.org.au/symptoms-and-complications/

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