Parkinson’s disease is a disease in which there is a problem in maintaining balance of the body and doing other physical activities. The disease increases with age and has been included in the list of 15 most important causes of death. (✔️)
In this article we’ll try to cover every aspects of Parkinson’s disease.
WHAT IS PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
Parkinson’s disease is a neuro-degenerative disease of the central nervous system. (✔️)
In this disease, the brain stops producing a chemical called dopamine, due to which there is a problem in maintaining balance of the body. (✔️)
Along with this, problems like walking, stiffness and vibration in the body also start.
According to one report, the effect of Parkinson’s disease often develops after the age of 60, but in 5 to 10% of cases it may even be around 50. According to the report, the risk of Parkinson’s disease is 50% higher in men than women. (✔️)
It can also be genetic, but it does not have to happen every time. (✔️) It is mainly of two types ( ✔️) —
Primary or Idiopathic — In this type, the reason for the elimination of neurons is not known.
Secondary or Acquired — In this type, the cause of the disease is known, such as drugs, infections, tumors, viruses, etc.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
The elimination of neurons from substantia nigra is the main cause of Parkinson’s disease. It is the part of the brain that sends signals to control your body from the brain to the spinal cord. Actually, this work does the chemical dopamine produced in this part, which is made in these neurons.
Due to Parkinson’s disease, the number of these neurons is reduced, resulting in reduced dopamine content. In such a situation, there is a problem in sending signals from brain and your body is unable to control. (✔️)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease do not appear in the early stages. Then as the amount of dopamine chemical in the brain decreases over time, its symptoms increase.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may include (✔️) (✔️) —
- Vibration in any part of the body. Often this vibration starts first in the hand. Mostly this feeling occurs when the victim is worried or tired
- Muscle cramps
- Problem in keeping the body balanced
- Slowness in physical activities like walking and turning
- Softness in voice
- Problems with blinking eyes
- Problem swallowing food or water
- Mood swings such as depression etc.
- Repeated sleeplessness
- Sensory symptoms such as loss of sensation or pain
- Less interest in physical relationships
- Disturbances in bowel and bladder activities
- Feeling tired
- Loss of interest in any work
- Having constipation problem
- Low or high blood pressure
WHAT ARE THE 5 STAGES OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
Doctors rely on the Hoehn and Yahr rating scale to categorize the severity of the symptoms.
It is divided into five stage to evaluate how far the disease has advanced. Parkinson’s disease stages are (✔️) —
It is considered as the mildest form of the disease. Symptoms are there, but they don’t interfere daily work and overall lifestyle. Only family members and friends may notice the changes in your walk, posture and face expressions. Symptoms may include tremors and other troubles in the movement to one side of the body.
It is the moderate form of Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms in stage 2 are much more noticeable than stage 1. Symptoms may include tremors, stiffness, trembling and changes in facial expressions. Patient may also experience difficulty in walking or the posture may start to change.
It is considered the middle stage of Parkinson’s. Many symptoms are like the previous stage. In this stage, disease affects daily routine tasks, but the patient is still able to complete them. Patient may also experience decreased reflexes, loss of balance and movements become more slower.
During stage 4 Parkinson’s disease, it is possible to stand without assistance. However, movement may require a walker or assistive device.
Many individuals aren’t able to live alone at this stage. It can be extremely dangerous.
It is the most advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease. In this stage, patient is unable to stand or walk and require a wheelchair. More than 30% of people at stage 4 and 5 experience delusion, confusion and hallucinations (sensations that seems to be real but aren’t there).
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
Although, the disease is counted with increasing age, but there’re some factors that may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Factors that increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease may include (✔️) —
- Genetic causes
- Excessive exposure to pesticide chemicals
- Head injury
- Live in a farm or village
- Air pollution
IS PARKINSON’S DISEASE FATAL?
No. Parkinson’s disease isn’t fatal.
HOW TO PREVENT PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
Research has been shown that people who consume caffeine have the reduced risk of having Parkinson’s disease. However, it is not clear that caffeine actually protects against having Parkinson’s, or is related in some other way. (✔️)
A research also found that regular aerobic exercise might reduce the risk of having Parkinson’s disease. A healthy lifestyle can do some help in preventing Parkinson’s disease. In addition, daily physical activities and exercise can be beneficial, such as (✔️) (✔️) —
- Take a walk every day
- Keep muscles strong
- Keep the heart healthy
- Body balance control
- Reduce stress
- Keep joints strong
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
Now, you may have a question in your mind — Can Parkinson disease be cured?
The treatment of this disease is not yet found. But with the help of some medicines and therapies, the symptoms can be relieved. Most medicines are used to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. Below are the medicines and therapy that treat Parkinson’s disease (✔️) —
- Medications that increase brain dopamine levels
- Medications that affect the rest of the brain
- Medications that keep body under control
Levodopa (L-Dopa) Therapy:
Through this therapy the amount of dopamine in the brain is increased. However, this therapy may have some side-effects such as vomiting, excretion, restlessness and low blood pressure. In this case, a drug called Carbidopa is given along with this therapy to avoid these side effects. This drug also increases the effect of levodopa.
Deep Brain Stimulation:
It is given to the patients who are not affected by any medication or levodopa that treats Parkinson’s disease. It is a type of surgery in which an electric device is placed in the brain and chest. This device helps in controlling the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as walking problem, stiffness and tremor in the body. Along with these two, other therapies are also used to reduce the effects of Parkinson’s disease, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.
After understanding the Parkinson’s disease, taking the appropriate steps to avoid it is the best prevention. In addition, support groups have been formed by several institutions to help people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. A person, suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s disease begins to lose their confidence. In such a situation, it’s important for family and friends to keep in mind that they take good care of the patient and help him in boosting his moral.
Note : As we have mentioned that no medicine has yet been found to treat specific Parkinson’s disease. The medicines and therapies mentioned above can only reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. You should take the medicine or therapy described here only after consulting a doctor.