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Updated on: Aug 18, 2014

Parkinson Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder caused by the less production of the chemical dopamine by the nerve cells in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for the regulation of the movement. Due to the less production of the dopamine which causes certain brain cells to die, there is retardation in the movement of the body parts which is termed as Parkinson’s disease. According to the recent research suggests that more than million people in America and five million worldwide are suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is observed more in males than in females and commonly in one person out of 100 people over the age of 60. It can also be seen in younger adults. The exact cause of the disease is not found yet. The study is still on. However, there is little probability of having Parkinson’s according to genes or exposure to toxins like herbicides and pesticides in the environment. There is no cure for the disease yet but a number of treatments and change in mode of living and family support can reduce the onset of the symptoms.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:

The symptoms and progress of the Parkinson’s disease varies from person to person. In most cases the primary/early symptoms of Parkinson’s involve the disruption of the motor functions. It is characterized mostly by the shakiness in hands, fingers, forearms, feet, mouth or chin. It also involves the slowness in voluntary movements like standing, walking and sitting known as Bradykinesia. Muscle stiffness and port balance while movement can also be seen as the primary phase of this disease. These primary signs are often accompanied by the secondary ones which includes

  • Difficulty in giving facial expression such as smiling, frowning, anger, etc, known as masked face.
  • Dizziness and Faint feeling.
  • Constipation
  • Stooping or slouching while standing.
  • Reduced voice
  • Excessive sweating, aches and pains.
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Problems in writing as handwriting become small and cramped.
  • Emotional changes like anxiety, depression, fear or isolation.
  • Cognitive problems, hallucinations, etc in the later stages.

Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease:

There has not been any lab test favorable to identify the disease. It is examined by the doctors based on the symptoms and a neurological examination that includes the observation and test of the patient’s body movements. However, doctors can ask to perform the blood test or urine test, CT or MRI scans in order to identify if there are other conditions for the symptoms.

Treatment for Parkinson’s disease:

Since there is no cure for the disease but there are availability of several medications and other types of treatment that can help in effective address to the symptoms of the disease. Commonly used medications for Parkinson’s are:

  • Levodopa/Carbidopa(Sinemet)
  • Entacapone
  • Dopamine agonists
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Surgical options are also available for the patients with this disease. The most common of the surgical options of the disease is known as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) which involves the placing of a wire in the brain that is connected to a pacemaker-type device that is implanted in the chest just below the skin of the patient. This helps to reduce the severity of retardness in motor functions. However, there is the risk of infection in this option. Other treatment involves the patient’s self awareness on the disease and enough of the family support, care and love to the patient.