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Parkinsons Disease - Symptom, treatment, cause of Parkinsons Disease

 

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Parkinsons Disease is a condition of abnormal posture, tremor and involuntary movements which makes its appearance in mid-adult life. Parkinson's disease, one of the most common crippling diseases in the United States, affects men more often than women. According to current statistics, it strikes 1 in every 100 people over age 60. It runs a gradual, progressive and prolonged course. Parkinson's results from the degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain, specifically in the substantia nigra and the locus coeruleus. But although Parkinson's disease may eventually be disabling, the disease often progresses gradually, and most people have many years of productive living after a diagnosis. The risk of PD increases with age, so analysts expect the financial and public health impact of this disease to increase as the population gets older. Parkinson's disease patients have lost 80% or more of their dopamine-producing cells by the time symptoms appear.

Parkinsons Disease is a degenerative disease occurring in the basal ganglia of the brain and a decrease in a biochemical compound called dopamine of which the cause is unknown. Parkinson's disease (also known as shaking palsy) characteristically produces progressive muscle rigidity, akinesia, and involuntary tremor. Deterioration is a progressive process. Death may result from complications, such as aspiration pneumonia or some other infection.

Parkinson's disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. People with Parkinson's disease often experience trembling, muscle rigidity, difficulty walking, problems with balance and slowed movements. It was first described in 1817 by James Parkinson, a British physician who published a paper on what he called "the shaking palsy." The primary symptoms are the results of excessive muscle contraction, normally caused by the insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. These symptoms usually develop after age 60, although some people affected by Parkinson's disease are younger than age 50.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It is often characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement ( bradykinesia ), and in extreme cases, a loss of physical movement ( akinesia ). Parkinson's disease is called idiopathic Parkinson's because the cause is unknown. Parkinson's disease is progressive, meaning the signs and symptoms become worse over time. PD is also called "primary parkinsonism" or "idiopathic PD" ("idiopathic" meaning of no known cause). The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions. While most forms of parkinsonism are idiopathic, there are some cases where the symptoms may result from toxicity, drugs, genetic mutation, head trauma, or other medical disorders. Therefore the diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination. Another involves an implanted device that stimulates the brain. Other approaches involve surgery. Meanwhile, research into other treatments continues.

Causes of Parkinsons Disease

The common Causes of Parkinsons Disease :

  • Pesticides, toxins, chemicals
  • Genetic factors
  • Although these studies are beginning to provide some answers, experts do not know the exact cause of the disease.
  • Head trauma.
  • Parkinsonism may be caused by other disorders (such as secondary parkinsonism ) or certain medications used to treat schizophrenia.
  • Most believe that it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors, but no definitive data exist.
  • Parkinsonism may be caused by other disorders or by external factors ( secondary parkinsonism ) like certain medications used to treat schizophrenia .

Symptoms of Parkinsons Disease

Some common Symptoms of Parkinsons Disease :

  • Less frequent blinking and swallowing
  • Gait (walking pattern) changes
  • Increased oily skin
  • Slow movements
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased facial expression
  • A variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, mainly constipation.
  • Difficulty initiating any voluntary movement
  • Unstable, stooped, or slumped-over posture
  • Fatigue and aching
  • Decline in intellectual function (may occur, can be severe)

Treatment of Parkinsons Disease

Here is the list of the methods for treating Parkinsons Disease :

  • Deprenyl may provide some improvement to mildly affected patients.
  • acts like a dopamine replacement drug but works on different sites in the brain. It can cause side-effects such as sedation at high doses.
  • Amantadine or anticholinergic medications may be used to reduce early or mild tremors.
  • Entacapone is a medication used to prevent the breakdown of levodopa.
  • Physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy can help with movement, speech, and overcoming difficulties performing everyday tasks. Brain surgery may be performed to destroy the part of the brain causing tremor, or to implant a pacemaker in the brain to regulate nerve cell action
  • Pramipexole and ropinirole are dopamine medications used before or together with levodopa.
  • Medications should not be accessible to the person once or if confusion becomes part of the symptoms.
  • Drugs which mimic the action of dopamine eg. bromocriptine. Using these early on in the course of Parkinson's disease may delay the long-term problems of the dopamine replacement drugs.