Health

Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications might significantly improve your symptoms. Occasionally, your doctor may suggest surgery to regulate certain regions of your brain and improve your symptoms.

Definition.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain.

Other Names:Essential Tremor.

Stages of Parkinson’s.

There are typical patterns of progression in Parkinson’s disease that are defined in stages.

▪️ Stage One:

During this initial stage, the person has mild symptoms that generally do not interfere with daily activities. Tremor and other movement symptoms occur on one side of the body only. Changes in posture, walking and facial expressions occur.

▪️ Stage Tow:

Symptoms start getting worse. Tremor, rigidity and other movement symptoms affect both sides of the body. Walking problems and poor posture may be apparent. The person is still able to live alone, but daily tasks are more difficult and lengthy.

▪️ Stage Three:

Considered mid-stage, loss of balance and slowness of movements are hallmarks. The person is still fully independent, but symptoms significantly impair activities such as dressing and eating.

▪️ Stage Four:

At this point, symptoms are severe and limiting. It’s possible to stand without assistance, but movement may require a walker. The person needs help with activities of daily living and is unable to live alone.

▪️ Stage Five:

This is the most advanced and debilitating stage. Stiffness in the legs may make it impossible to stand or walk. The person requires a wheelchair. Around-the-clock nursing care is required for all activities.

Symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. Early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.

Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:

▪️ Tremor.

A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremble when it’s at rest.

▪️ Slowed movement (bradykinesia).

Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.

▪️ Rigid muscles.

Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.

▪️ Impaired posture and balance.

Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.

▪️ Loss of automatic movements.

You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.

▪️ Speech changes.

You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than have the usual inflections.

▪️ Writing changes.

It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.

Causes.

In Parkinson’s disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to impaired movement and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role, including:

▪️ Genes.

Researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that can cause Parkinson’s disease. But these are uncommon except in rare cases with many family members affected by Parkinson’s disease.

However, certain gene variations appear to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease but with a relatively small risk of Parkinson’s disease for each of these genetic markers.

▪️ Environmental triggers.

Exposure to certain toxins or environmental factors may increase the risk of later Parkinson’s disease, but the risk is relatively small.

Researchers have also noted that many changes occur in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, although it’s not clear why these changes occur.

These changes include:

▪️ The presence of Lewy bodies.

Clumps of specific substances within brain cells are microscopic markers of Parkinson’s disease. These are called Lewy bodies, and researchers believe these Lewy bodies hold an important clue to the cause of Parkinson’s disease.

▪️ Alpha-synuclein found within Lewy bodies.

Although many substances are found within Lewy bodies, scientists believe an important one is the natural and widespread protein called alpha-synuclein (a-synuclein). It’s found in all Lewy bodies in a clumped form that cells can’t break down. This is currently an important focus among Parkinson’s disease researchers.

Risk factors.

Risk factors for Parkinson’s disease include:

▪️ Age.

Young adults rarely experience Parkinson’s disease. It ordinarily begins in middle or late life, and the risk increases with age. People usually develop the disease around age 60 or older.

▪️ Heredity.

Having a close relative with Parkinson’s disease increases the chances that you’ll develop the disease. However, your risks are still small unless you have many relatives in your family with Parkinson’s disease.

▪️ Sex.

Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than are women.

▪️ Exposure to toxins.

Ongoing exposure to herbicides and pesticides may slightly increase your risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Complications.

Parkinson’s disease is often accompanied by these additional problems, which may be treatable:

▪️Thinking difficulties.

You may experience cognitive problems (dementia) and thinking difficulties. These usually occur in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease. Such cognitive problems aren’t very responsive to medications.

▪️ Depression and emotional changes.

You may experience depression, sometimes in the very early stages. Receiving treatment for depression can make it easier to handle the other challenges of Parkinson’s disease.You may also experience other emotional changes, such as fear, anxiety or loss of motivation. Doctors may give you medications to treat these symptoms.

▪️ Swallowing problems.

You may develop difficulties with swallowing as your condition progresses. Saliva may accumulate in your mouth due to slowed swallowing, leading to drooling.

▪️ Chewing and eating problems.

Late-stage Parkinson’s disease affects the muscles in your mouth, making chewing difficult. This can lead to choking and poor nutrition.

▪️ Sleep problems and sleep disorders.

People with Parkinson’s disease often have sleep problems, including waking up frequently throughout the night, waking up early or falling asleep during the day.

People may also experience rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, which involves acting out your dreams. Medications may help your sleep problems.

▪️ Bladder problems.

Parkinson’s disease may cause bladder problems, including being unable to control urine or having difficulty urinating.

▪️ Constipation.

Many people with Parkinson’s disease develop constipation, mainly due to a slower digestive tract.

You may also experience:

▪️ Blood pressure changes.

You may feel dizzy or lightheaded when you stand due to a sudden drop in blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension).

▪️ Smell dysfunction.

You may experience problems with your sense of smell. You may have difficulty identifying certain odors or the difference between odors.

▪️ Fatigue.

Many people with Parkinson’s disease lose energy and experience fatigue, especially later in the day. The cause isn’t always known.

▪️ Pain.

Some people with Parkinson’s disease experience pain, either in specific areas of their bodies or throughout their bodies.

Diagnose.

No specific test exists to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. The doctor will diagnose Parkinson’s disease based on your medical history, a review of your signs and symptoms, and a neurological and physical examination. Your doctor may suggest imaging tests and lab tests, such as blood tests, to rule out other conditions that may be causing the symptoms. It is noted that imaging tests aren’t particularly helpful for diagnosing Parkinson’s disease.

Treatment.

Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, but medications can help control your symptoms, often dramatically. In some later cases, surgery may be advised. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes, especially regular aerobic exercise. In some cases, physical therapy that focuses on balance and stretching also is important. A speech-language pathologist may help improve your speech problems.

Medications.

Medications may help you manage problems with walking, movement and tremor. These medications increase or substitute for dopamine.

People with Parkinson’s disease have low brain dopamine concentrations. However, dopamine can’t be given directly, as it can’t enter your brain.You may have significant improvement of your symptoms after beginning Parkinson’s disease treatment. Over time, however, the benefits of drugs frequently diminish or become less consistent. You can usually still control your symptoms fairly well.

Lifestyle and home remedies.

If you’ve received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, you’ll need to work closely with your doctor to find a treatment plan that offers you the greatest relief from symptoms with the fewest side effects. Certain lifestyle changes also may help make living with Parkinson’s disease easier.

Healthy eating.

While no food or combination of foods has been proved to help in Parkinson’s disease, some foods may help ease some of the symptoms. For example, eating foods high in fiber and drinking an adequate amount of fluids can help prevent constipation that is common in Parkinson’s disease.

A balanced diet also provides nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, that might be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Exercise.

Exercising may increase your muscle strength, flexibility and balance. Exercise can also improve your well-being and reduce depression or anxiety.

Your doctor may suggest that you work with a physical therapist to learn an exercise program that works for you. You may also try exercises such as walking, swimming, gardening, dancing, water aerobics or stretching.

Parkinson’s disease can disturb your sense of balance, making it difficult to walk with a normal gait. Exercise may improve your balance.

These suggestions may also help:

▪️ Try not to move too quickly.

▪️ Aim for your heel to strike the floor first when you’re walking.

▪️ If you notice yourself shuffling, stop and check your posture. It’s best to stand up straight.

▪️ Look in front of you, not directly down, while walking.

Avoiding falls.

In the later stages of the disease, you may fall more easily. In fact, you may be thrown off balance by just a small push or bump.

The following suggestions may help:

▪️ Make a U-turn instead of pivoting your body over your feet.

▪️ Distribute your weight evenly between both feet, and don’t lean.

▪️ Avoid carrying things while you walk.

▪️ Avoid walking backward.

Reference :

Parkinson’s disease/https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes

Parkinson’s Disease/https://www.moh.gov.sa/en

Parkinson’s Disease/https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/diagnosis-treatment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button