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Parkinson's disease symptoms and treatment
27 Jan' 21

Parkinson's disease symptoms and treatment

 

 

This degenerative condition, which usually strikes adults over the age of 65, gradually robs people of their motor abilities, leaving them with a sluggish and awkward stride, rigid limbs, tremors, shuffling, and a loss of balance.  

Parkinson's disease has no known etiology. The majority of cases occur on their own; however, some are hereditary. What is known is that brain cells in the “substantia nigra" portion of the brain die off. These are the cells that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that aids in muscle movement regulation.    

Research is expanding thanks to recent breakthroughs in the lab, such as the identification of multiple Parkinson's genes. Scientists are currently dissecting newly revealed biochemical patterns. 

 

Symptoms  

 

The most typical symptom of Parkinson's disease is a tremor in one hand, but it can also produce limb stiffness or slowness of movement without tremor. Perhaps someone else will notice that you aren't walking with your arm swinging naturally.  

  

Primary motor symptoms, secondary motor symptoms, and non-motor symptoms are the three types of symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease. What you need to know is as follows:  

  

Symptoms of Primary Motor Dysfunction  

  

Resting tremor is a condition in which a bodily part on one side of the body (typically a hand or foot) shakes gently while it is not in use (thus the term "resting"). When you start doing something with that hand or other bodily part, the tremor normally stops. 

 

Bradykinesia is characterized by slow and insignificant movement. It's possible that you won't be able to walk at your typical rate, that your step size will be smaller, or that you'll have to do repetitive activities more slowly (think tapping your fingers on a table). Here are several examples:    

  •  Freezing of gait: When you try to take a step forward and feel as if you can't as if your foot is "stuck" to the floor, this is known as gait freezing. It's sometimes just a phase, and once you start walking, the freezing subsides.   
  •  Face with a "mask": Your facial expression may appear flat or mask-like as a result of a mix of stiffness and bradykinesia. Your facial muscles lose some of their involuntary movements as a result of this.  
  •  Micrographia (smaller handwriting): When you have bradykinesia, your ability to perform repetitive motions declines, resulting in smaller, cramped handwriting.  
  • Rigidity is a term used by patients to describe when muscles remain rigid rather than contracting and relaxing as they should. It's what causes symptoms like walking without swinging your arms in a normal motion when it's combined with bradykinesia.  
  • Poor balance/postural instability: This symptom arises when you find it difficult to stay upright while standing or rising from a chair. You can feel as if you're falling backward. It may be more difficult to make a rapid turn or pivot without falling. 

 

 

Nonmotor symptoms   

 

  • Constipation: If you're having trouble passing stool that can't be explained by other factors like a low-fiber or low-water diet or the use of certain drugs, it could be an indication of Parkinson's disease.   
  • Hypersomnia is a loss of some of one's sense of smell that is common in Parkinson's disease (though it may also be overlooked as an early symptom). Given that odor is highly involved in flavor, this could have a secondary effect on the sensation of taste. According to one idea, the same clumping of the protein alpha-synuclein that occurs in the dopamine receptor-controlling region of the brain also occurs in the olfactory bulb, which controls smell. 
  • REM sleep behavior disorder people appear to "act out" their dreams. You may thrash around in bed or perhaps tumble out of bed while sleeping.  
  • Mood disorders: Psychological concerns such as depression and anxiety can be a precursor to motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease.  
  • Urinary frequency/urgency: People with Parkinson's disease typically feel compelled to urinate more frequently, even if their bladder isn't full. The above-mentioned movement issues make it difficult to get to the bathroom promptly. 

Also read Is there are drug for alzheimers diease ?

 

Testing for Parkinson's disease  

  

There is no suggested or conclusive lab or imaging test for Parkinson's disease. However, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the DaTscan imaging scan in 2011. Doctors can use this approach to examine detailed images of the brain's dopamine system.  

  

A DaTscan is performed using a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanner, which is similar to an MRI scanner, and a little dose of a radioactive medication.  

  

The medication attaches to dopamine transmitters in the brain, indicating where dopaminergic neurons are located in the brain. (Dopaminergic neurons are the brain's source of dopamine; dopamine deficiency causes Parkinson’s.) 

A DaTscan cannot prove that you have Parkinson's disease, but it can assist your doctor in confirming a diagnosis or ruling out a Parkinson's mimic.  

 

 

Is It Possible to Diagnose a Patient Early?  

  

Experts are becoming increasingly aware of Parkinson's symptoms that occur before the physical signs. Prodromal symptoms are indications of the disease that appear before motor symptoms and before a formal diagnosis. These include a loss of sense of smell, REM behavior disorder (a type of sleep disorder), chronic constipation that isn't explained, and mood disorders including anxiety and despair)  

The study of these and other early signs could lead to more sensitive testing and diagnosis. 

Biomarker research, for example, is attempting to address the question of who gets Parkinson's disease. Researchers think that once doctors can anticipate whether someone with early symptoms will develop Parkinson's disease, they will be able to treat them correctly. At the very least, these advancements have the potential to significantly slow down progress. 

 

 

Parkinson’s treatment options  

 

Your doctor will decide on a specific Parkinson's disease treatment plan depending on the following factors:  

  

  • Your age, general health, and medical history are all factors to consider.  
  • The severity of the problem  
  •  The nature of the problem   
  •  Your ability to tolerate certain drugs, surgeries, or therapies.   
  •  Expectations regarding the condition's progression  
  •  Your point of view or preference  

  

We have yet to discover a cure for Parkinson's disease with today's medicine. However, the doctor will devise a treatment plan based on the severity of the symptoms and the patient's medical history.  

Parkinson's disease treatment may involve the following: 

  • Medications   
  •  Surgery   
  •  Diet
  • exercise
  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • speech therapy 

 

 

Parkinson's disease medication  

  

Following a doctor's diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, the next option is whether or not to treat the patient with medicine, which is based on the following factors:  

  • The severity of the functional disability   
  • The severity of the mental illness  
  • Tolerance to anti-parkinsonian drugs    
  • The attending physician's advice  

  

Because no two individuals react to treatment in the same manner, it takes time and patience to identify the right prescription and dosage to relieve symptoms. 

  

  

Parkinson's disease surgery  

  

The doctor may propose surgery as a therapy option for Parkinson's disease, depending on the severity of the ailment and the patient's medical history.  

  

There are various sorts of surgeries that can treat patients with Parkinson's disease. The majority of treatments are geared at alleviating the disease's tremor or stiffness. Surgery may reduce the quantity of medication required to treat symptoms in some patients.  

  

Three different types of procedures can be used to treat Parkinson's disease: 

 

  • Surgery for a lesion (burning of tissue): Deep areas of the brain are targeted in this treatment, and small lesions are produced in important parts of the brain that control movement. To help pinpoint the exact location of the lesion, the procedure may be performed while the patient is conscious. The lesion is put to help control or stop the tremor-causing area of the brain.  
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS): is a type of brain (DBS). A tiny electrode is implanted in the crucial areas of the brain that help control movement in this sort of surgery. The electrode is connected to a tiny battery in the chest wall by wires that are inserted beneath the skin. The stimulator is then activated and causes an interruption. 
  • Tissue transplants or neural grafts: the goal of experimental research is to develop a replacement for the area of the brain that fails in Parkinson's disease.  

  

It's crucial to note that while surgery can help with Parkinson's disease symptoms, it doesn't cure the disease or stop it from progressing. 

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