Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disease that affects nerve cells (neurons) which produce dopamine, a chemical that transmits signals between areas in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for the smooth and coordinated muscle movements of the body so when its levels begin to drop, it affects the body movements.
Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that causes tremors and affects body movement, as dopamine levels in the blood decrease. Parkinson's disease causes are unknown, however there appear to be some indicative factors:
The following factors increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease:
Signs & Symptoms:
The symptoms are barely noticeable in the beginning but start appearing gradually. Typical Parkinson’s disease symptoms are:
If you experience any of the symptoms, visit Medcare for a consultation and diagnosis.
The diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is based on your symptoms and neurologic examination. Blood tests and imaging tests like MRI, CT scan, ultrasound of the brain, and PET scans are required to be sure that other diseases are not causing these symptoms. Our specialist may recommend a specific single-photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT) scan called a dopamine transporter (DAT) scan.
In addition to your examination, your doctor may give specific medication that will confirm the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
While there is no known cure for Parkinson's disease, the symptoms can be alleviated by:
A: It is believed that regular aerobic exercise may contribute to reducing the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease. However, there is no certain course of action for prevention, as the cause is unknown.
A: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a treatment and not a cure, to alleviate some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease like tremors, stiffness and difficulty in walking. In this procedure, a small device placed inside the chest sends electrical pulses to the brain to block nerve signals that cause the symptoms. Your neurologist may recommend this only if medications have not helped to keep Parkinson’s under control.
A: It’s the friends and family who would notice the signs before the patient. In the beginning there will be tremendous fatigue with slight tremors in the limbs, stiff movements, or lack of expression on the face. Symptoms increase progressively over a period of time.
A: Your role is very important in helping your family member cope with this disease. If you want to help, do read as much as you can about the condition. Speak to the patient to understand how she or he is feeling. If the patient tends to forget prescriptions or instructions, repeat them patiently and kindly.
Try to help the patient to pursue activities that she or he enjoys. Find out if there are any support groups in your areas and reach out to others for cooperation and support. Make sure that the patient is following the doctors’ instructions down to the last detail, and schedule regular doctor visits as needed.