What is Parkinson’s Disease? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Home » Parkinson’s Disease: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment
Garry Stewart
Written By Shasta Wilson

March 14, 2022

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease refers to a progressive nervous system disorder, which affects the movement of a person.

The symptoms of the Disease begin gradually, and sometimes the symptoms start with a barely noticeable tremor in hand. These tremors are common, but they may lead to stiffness or slowing of movement.

During the early stages of the disease, a person may show no or little expression, or the person’s arm may not swing while walking or the speech may become slurred or soft.

However, the symptoms may worsen over time as the health condition progresses.
Though the disease cannot be cured, the medications generally improve the symptoms.

“People with Parkinson’s infection likewise have tremors and may develop cognitive problems, including loss of memory. Parkinson sickness is most common in individuals who are more than 50.”

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

The symptoms experienced by the different people with the health condition may vary for each since the early signs of the disease may be mild and even go unnoticed.

The symptoms begin on one side of the body and generally remain worse on that side but can affect both sides.

The common symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease include:

  • Slowed movement
  • Tremor
  • Impaired balance and posture
  • Rigid Muscles
  • Speech modifications
  • Writing changes
  • Loss of automatic movements

When do you need to see a doctor?

You gotta see a doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease.

Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

In Parkinson’s Disease, specific neurons in the brain gradually die or break down.

Several symptoms on the sides are because of the loss of the neurons that develop a chemical messenger in the brain known as dopamine.

When the dopamine level decreases, it leads to abnormal brain functioning while leading to impaired movement and other disease symptoms.

The causes of the health condition are still unknown, but several factors can play a significant role in leading to the Disease. This includes:

Genes

The researchers identify specific genetic mutations that can lead to the Disease.

However, these mutations are uncommon except in rare cases with ample family members affected by the illness. Specific gene variations appear to augment the Risk of Disease.

Environmental Triggers

Exposure to specific environmental factors or toxins may augment the Risk of Disease. The risk is relatively small, but there are chances for the same.

The researchers have also noted several changes in the brain of people with the Disease. Although it is not clear why do exactly these changes occur but the common modifications include:

  • The presence of Lewy bodies in which the specific substances clump are the microscopic markers of the Disease within the brain cells.
  • Alpha-synuclein within the Lewy bodies in which the natural; and widespread protein is known as alpha-synuclein plays an important role.
 Causes of Parkinson's

Risk factors involved!

The risk factors for the Disease include:

Age: The Disease generally begins in middle age or late life, and young adults rarely experience it. But the risk may increase with age.

Heredity: Having a family history of the Disease may increase the chances of developing the Disease.

Gender: Men are more likely to develop health conditions as compared to women.

Exposure to toxins: Exposure to pesticides and herbicides may slightly increase the disease’s risk of developing.

Complications involved!

Several additional issues often accompany the illness. This includes:

  • Thinking difficulties
  • Emotional and depression changes
  • Swallowing issues
  • Eating and chewing issues
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Bladder issues
  • Constipation

Along with this, a person with the Disease may also experience

  • Blood pressure changes
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Smell Dysfunction
  • Sexual Dysfunction

Prevention from Parkinson’s Disease

Since the cause of the Disease is unknown, several proven ways to prevent the Disease still remain a mystery.

However, the research studies have suggested that regular aerobic exercises might reduce the Risk of Disease.

Several other research studies suggest that the people who consume caffeine get the illness less often than those who do not drink it.

Green tea consumption can also reduce the risk of developing the Disease.

Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

There are no specific tests that can diagnose the Disease. However, the neurologist can diagnose the illness based on the medical history, review the symptoms a person is experiencing, and a combined neurological and physical examination.

The doctor may suggest a particular Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography Scan support the suspicion that a person may have the Disease.

The doctor may also suggest some lab tests to rule out the other conditions, including blood tests.

Imaging tests like an ultrasound of the brain, RI, and PET Scans may also be suggested to rule out other conditions that might be causing the health condition.

Sometimes it takes time to diagnose the Disease. So to diagnose it appropriately, the doctors may suggest regular follow-up appointments with the neurologists to analyze the symptoms developed over time and analyze the illness.

Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

It is known that the Disease cannot be cured, but the medications focus on controlling the symptoms.

Medications

Medications may help manage the issues associated with movement, tremors, and walking. People with the disease may have low dopamine concentrations, and the dopamine cannot be given directly to the person as it cannot enter the brain.

However, the commonly prescribed medications may include

  • Carbidopa-Levodopa is a natural chemical that passes into the brain and is converted to dopamine.
  • Inhaled Carbidopa-Levodopa is a new drug in the inhaled form that helps manage the symptoms of the Disease.
  • Carbidopa-Levodopa Infusion is another way of handling symptoms that are administered through a feeding tube.
  • Dopamine Agents mimic the dopamine effects in the patient’s brain.
  • MAO B inhibitors, including Rasagiline, Selegiline, and Safinamide, prevent the brain’s dopamine breakdown by inhibiting the brain enzyme oxidase B. It’s an enzyme that metabolizes the brain dopamine.
  • Catechol O- Methyltransferase Inhibitors prolongs the levodopa therapy’s effect by blocking the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down dopamine.
  • Anticholinergics are the medications used to control the tremors associated with the Disease.
  • Amantadine is often prescribed to provide short-term relief from early-stage Disease or mild symptoms.

Surgical Procedures

The surgical procedure is also involved in improving a person’s health with the Disease. Deep brain stimulation in which the surgeons implant the electrodes in a particular part of the brain that are then linked to a generator implanted in the chest near the collarbone, which sends the electrical pulses to the brain. This may help reduce the Disease’s symptoms.

Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes

If you are diagnosed with a health condition, you may need to consult the doctor for a further treatment plan. However, several specific lifestyle changes can help make a living easier with the Disease. This includes

  • Healthy Eating
  • Exercising
  • Avoiding Falls
  • Medications
  • Pet Therapy

Bottom Line!

It is known that the Disease is challenging to cope with, and there is no cure for the Disease. But the focus is on improving the symptoms. So, to get a healthier life and cope with the Disease, a patient must consult the doctor immediately and follow the suggested treatment appropriately.

Stay tuned for more!!

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