Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder. This disease causes an imbalance in the body movements of individuals and it is often characterized by tremors.
What causes Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a nerve system disorder that affects the ability to control body movements. Parkinson’s disease occurs when the dopamine produced in the nerve cells is at low levels. Dopamine plays a vital role in sending information to the brain cells to control body movements.
Decreasing or falling levels of dopamine will affect body movements. The falling level of dopamine is because of the impairment in substantia nigra.
Parkinson’s disease also affects or damages the nerve endings that produce neurotransmitters named norepinephrine. These handles certain automatic body movements. The low level of norepinephrine in Parkinson’s diseases increases the risk of worsening the symptoms.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
The depletion is level of dopamine causes Parkinson’s diseases symptoms. The symptoms vary from individual to individual. People with Parkinson’s disease suffer from the incapability to control body movements. The common symptoms of the disease include:
Bradykinesia (slow body movements): The body movements will be slowed down, making the simple task harder and time-consuming. The slowness is caused by the brain’s inability to transmit information to other parts of the body.
Tremor: Tremor is one of the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. There are different types of tremors, the one that is associated with Parkinson’s disease is resting tremors. Resting tremor occurs when a person is at rest or not performing a voluntary action.
This resting tremor is often described as a pill-rolling tremor. This starts with the hand and arms. Sometimes it can also occur in jaws and legs. The resting tremor does not cause much trouble during the time of sleep.
Rigidity: Stiffness or rigidity may occur in any part of the body muscles. Rigid muscles indicate the inability of the muscles to relax normally. Rigidity is the main cause of the pain in muscles and limits the free mobility of the movements.
Balance and coordination problems: Balance problems are some of the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s disease usually find it difficult to get up from a chair and may feel a mild tremor. The coordination problems also accompany, like no hand swing movements while walking. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease will start gradually and gets worse over time.
People diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease may lose the ability to perform unconscious movements like blinking eyes. Dystonia can also result because of muscle stiffness.
How is Parkinson’s disease diagnosed?
Some of the early symptoms can be misjudged or related to other diseases. Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is a tough process as there is no specific process to rule out this disorder. However, imagery tests like CT and MRI scans would be helpful to check for other disorders.
So, the diagnosis is based on the individual’s symptoms, medical history and a neurological examination. As mentioned, it is a tough process, the doctor may follow regular appointments to examine and evaluate how the treatment works.
What are the treatments for Parkinson’s disease?
The treatment is always dependent on the symptoms of the individual. To be clear there is no standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The treatment of Parkinson’s disease comes with a combination of medications, surgical procedures or therapies.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is carried forward only when there is zero progress detected in medication. DBS surgical processes involve implants of electrodes into part of the brain that is connected to a small electrical device implanted in the chest. DBS will not cure the diseases but it will reduce movement-related diseases.
Therapies like physical, speech and occupational help to ease the symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease. The therapies also include a healthy diet and exercise to relax the stiffness of the muscles.
The clear causes of Parkinson’s disease are still a mystery. However, it is a lifelong condition. Living with Parkinson’s disease is still possible with medications, therapies, surgical producers and lifestyle changes.
As it is a neurological disorder there is no way to prevent it. But when the symptoms are treated in the early stages the quality of life is possible. That’s why regular health check-ups are a part of health importance.