Posted on Aug 14, 2007 | Comments 0
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.
This disease is a group of conditions called motor system disorders.
Mainly Parkinson’s disease affects nerve cells or neurons in the brain which are responsible to control muscle movements.
In people who are affected with this disease, their body cannot make a chemical called dopamine or do not work properly.
The chemical dopamine is responsible for signal transformation that helps coordinate your movements. No one can identify what damages these cells. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease, means the signs and symptoms of this disease gradually worsen over the time.
1 to 1½ million people in the United States is affected by Parkinson’s disease. Men are affected slightly more often than women. At any age the symptoms can appear, but the average age of onset is 60. People younger than 30 has lesser chance of getting the disease. Up to 5-10% of the patients experience symptoms before the age of 40.
Warning signs of Parkinson’s disease to look for:
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be classified as motor and non-motor symptoms.
- The main symptom of Parkinson’s disease is tremors. A tremor usually begins in the hands. The common tremor of Parkinson’s disease is called a “pill-rolling tremor” as the actions look like spinning a pill in between your thumb and forefinger. The occurrence of this tremor is about three per second.
- Occurrence of slow movements; this includes slowing down or ending in the middle of well-known tasks such as, eating, shaving, or walking.
- Muscle firmness or rigidity, followed by jerky movements.
- Postural instability, a failure of postural reactions which leads to impaired balance and falls.
- Some of the non-motor symptoms include mood disturbances, cognitive disturbances, sleep disturbances, sensation disturbances, and autonomic disturbances.
- You will feel excessive daytime somnolence.
- It also leads to pain in your muscles, joints, and tendons.
- It makes your skin oily and also causes urinary incontinence.
- You will lose weight while you are suffering with this disease.
What makes Parkinson’s disease more severe?
- The cause of Parkinson’s disease is still unknown. Some environmental toxins, free radicals, genetic predisposition, and accelerated aging can make you to suffer from the disease.
- Exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides lessen the production of dopamine and generate free radicals and oxidation damage can be developed.
- Medications taken for long periods of time or over dosages can cause more severe symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- Genetic factor is also a cause of Parkinson’s disease. Still it is not clear that genetic factor is a cause of the disease.
- Decrease in estrogen levels can also make your Parkinson’s disease more severe.
How to treat Parkinson’s disease?
Frankly speaking, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Some medications and surgery can give relief from the symptoms.
Levodopa: It is the most widely used form of treatment in various forms. It enters into the dopamine in the dopaminergic neurons by L-aromatic amino acid decorboxilase.
Dopamine agonists: These are moderately effective and also cause some side effects. Some of the dopamine agonists include apomorphine, bromocriptine, cabergoline, lisuride and pramipexole.
Surgical interventions: This is a common practice in treating Parkinson’s disease. Surgery can be used for those who cannot bear medications or drug therapy. Most useful surgery at present is deep brain stimulation.
With the help of these treatment methods you can get some relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But you won’t get permanent cure for the disease.
Posted in: Nervous System Disorders