Parkinson's disease is defined as a brain disorder that results in stiffness, shaking, difficulty in coordination, balancing, and walking. The symptoms of this disease begin at a slow pace but get worse within time. With the progress of the disease, a person finds it difficult to talk and walk. The changes traced in them are sleep problems, behavioral changes, memory difficulties, sleep issues, and fatigue. This disease can be seen in both men and women. The most visible factor of this disease is age as above 60 years it is fully diagnosed but they have issues as early as 50 years.
Causes of Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease starts when basal ganglia (an area of the brain responsible for controlling movement) nerve cells die or get impaired. Usually, these neurons or nerve cells produce an essential brain chemical referred to as dopamine. If the neurons or nerve cells become impaired or die, the production of dopamine by them becomes less. And, this further results in movement problems though scientists still have not explored the cause of death of nerve cells. Norepinephrine is the main chemical messenger for the sympathetic nervous system and may also die due to this. And, it results in non-movement symptoms such as irregular blood pressure, fatigue, less digestion of food, and problems in both lying and sitting down.
Genetic mutations are also considered potential causes but these happen in rare cases. Usually, the occurrence is seen when different family members have already suffered from this disease, then the chances increase.
Exposure to specific environmental factors and toxins can also risk the chances of Parkinson's disease again with fewer chances.
Parkinson's disease comes with four major symptoms
Trunk and limb stiffness
Tremors in arms, legs, head, hands, or jaw
Impaired coordination and balance sometimes results in falls
Other symptoms might include emotional changes and depression. A few people also report swallowing difficulty, speaking issues, chewing problems, constipation, urinary problems, sleep disorders, and skin problems. Sometimes people miss initial symptoms considering their age factor but without medical intervention, their symptoms start worsening.
Diagnosis performed for Parkinson's disease
Our expert's order to conduct certain tests for this disease as per the intensity of disorders. Patients who come with symptoms like Parkinson's that are the result of other causes are also said to be suffering from parkinsonism. But, we do not misdiagnose these symptoms and get assured with the help of certain medical examinations after a drug treatment response. With these examinations, we are able to differentiate Parkinson's and other diseases. Other diseases may also have similar symptoms but both need different treatment. Presently, no laboratory or blood test is present for diagnosing non genetic Parkinson's cases. Diagnosis is done on the basis of a patient's neurological examination and medical history. And, once a patient shows improvement after medications, then this is another recognition of the disease.
Treatment suggested by our medical practitioners for Parkinson's disease
Though this disease does not come with a permanent cure, surgical treatments, medicines, and other therapies are embraced to relieve the symptoms.
Medicines recommended for Parkinson's disease include:
Drugs that help in affecting other chemicals of the brain in the body
Drugs that help in increasing dopamine levels in the brain
Controlling nonmotor symptoms with the help of drugs
The most common and major therapy for Parkinson's disease is levodopa also known as L-dopa. Levodopa is used by nerve cells for making dopamine as a good supply for the brain. Usually, levodopa is given to patients along with another medication named carbidopa. Carbidopa reduces or prevents side effects of levodopa therapy such as vomiting, nausea, restlessness, and low blood pressure. This also reduces the levodopa amount required to improve the symptoms.
We advise Parkinson's patients not to stop getting levodopa without consulting the doctor. If you take sudden steps to stop the drug this may lead to serious side effects like inability to move or finding difficulty in breathing.
Other medicines that are used for treating Parkinson's symptoms that include:
MAO-B inhibitors for slowing down an enzyme for breaking down dopamine within the brain.
Dopamine agonists for copying dopamine roles in the brain.
Anticholinergic drugs for reducing muscle rigidity and tremors.
Amantadine is an old antiviral medication for reducing involuntary movements.
COMT inhibitors also help in breaking down dopamine.
DBS (deep brain stimulation) - Patients who are unable to respond well to Parkinson's medications, then we prescribe DBS (deep brain stimulation) for them. It is a surgical process to implant electrodes within the brain and connect to a small electric device that has been implanted in the chest. Electrodes and this device stimulate the brain in a painless manner that further help in correcting different Parkinson's symptoms such as slow movements, tremor, and rigidity.
A few effective therapies are also used to treat Parkinson's disease symptoms. These include occupational, physical, and speech therapies. These therapies help in voice and gait disorders, rigidity, tremors, and mental disorders. And, supportive therapies such as exercise and a healthy diet are also advised to improve balance and strengthen muscles.
So, this is how our healthcare providers help you fight against Parkinson’s disease. Feel free to ask any of your queries regarding symptoms, causes, and treatments of Parkinson’s. Our aim is to provide the best medical aid along with guiding patients on the right path for the prevention of disease.
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