What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a type of nervous disorder that progresses with time. It is a disorder of the nervous system and affects the movement ability of the body. This disease develops gradually with mild and barely noticeable symptoms, however, the symptoms worsen with time as the stage of the disease progresses.
Although Parkinson’s disease is not curable, prompt and effective treatment is available to treat the symptoms which can affect you quality of life.
What are the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
Although the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease vary from patient to patient, there are several commonly seen symptoms that indicate towards the development of the disease in a person. These symptoms might be very mild and not noticeable in the earlier stages of the disease. Symptoms are usually seen affecting any one side of the body and worsen with time and begin to affect the other parts as well.
These are the common signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:
- Tremors – The shaking, or tremors, initiate in the hands or the fingers mostly. The hand will also likely tremble when at rest.
- Bradykinesia (Slowed movements) – As the disease progresses it reduces the ability to move and slows down the movements noticeably, which makes even the simple tasks seem challenging to perform. There might be a change in the gait (walk/steps) or the patient may find it difficult to get out of a chair. The feet may also start to drag while walking, making it difficult to do so.
- Muscle rigidity – The muscles begin to get stiff in any part of the body which causes pain and also limits the movements.
- Impaired balance/posture – The disease causes the shoulders to stoop and result in an unhealthy and stooped posture accompanied by problems related to balancing in the standing position.
- Automatic movement loss – This disease causes problems with the body performing necessary involuntary movements such as blinking, smiling and swinging the arms while walking.
- Speech difficulty – Speech problems are also seen as a result of the Parkinson’s disease. It can result in slowed, quick or slurred and hesitative speech.
What are the causes of Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease results in the neurons (specific nerve cells) in the brain to start breaking down and getting destroyed. Most symptoms are due to the lack of neurons in the brain which produce the dopamine chemical in the brain. Decrease in the level of dopamine in the body results in abnormal brain activity.
Although the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is not known there are several risk factors that are known to increase the chances of Parkinson’s disease in a person. These are:
- Genes – Specific genes in the body, when mutated, are known to result in the development of Parkinson’s disease. This is a very rare occurrence and is mostly seen when Parkinson’s is found to have been in the family previously.
- Environmental – Certain chemicals and substances can act as triggers and cause the development of Parkinson’s disease, such certain toxins and other environmental factors.
- Age – Parkinson’s disease in rarely found in young adults and is commonly found to affect people in their 60s and over.
- Sex – Men are at more risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than women.
- Toxins – Certain herbicides and pesticides are also risk factors causing Parkinson’s disease.
What are the complications that arise due to Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease in mostly accompanied by the following complications:
- Difficulty in thinking – Dementia and other cognitive problems are a result of Parkinson’s disease and are more noticeable in the later stages of the disease. These cognitive problems are harder to treat with medications.
- Depression/Emotional changes – People affected with Parkinson’s disease are more likely to experience depression which requires intensive therapy to be treated successfully. Other emotional changes may include bouts of anxiety as well as loss of motivation.
- Problem with swallowing – Swallowing problems is commonly seen in Parkinson’s disease as the condition worsens. Drooling is also seen as excess saliva is produced in the mouth.
- Sleeping disorders – Sleeping disorders such as waking up frequently through the night as well as waking up early or falling asleep in the daytime are some of the complications faced in Parkinson’s disease.
- Bladder problems – Difficulty in controlling the urine as well as problems while urinating are frequently seen due to Parkinson’s disease.
How is Parkinson’s disease diagnosed?
It is difficult to pinpoint the cause of Parkinson’s hence there are no direct diagnostic tests and the deduction-and-elimination method is used to determine the presence of Parkinson’s disease in a person.
A trained and experienced neurologist can identify the symptoms of this disease and confirm its diagnosis usually with a review of the signs and symptoms, medical history and neurological/physical examination.
Certain diagnostic tests such as blood test and imaging tests (MRI scan, CT scan, etc) are performed to eliminate the suspicion of another disorder or disease causing the symptoms.
How is Parkinson’s disease treated?
Although Parkinson’s disease is not curable, there are several treatments that can be performed to relieve the dangerous and debilitating symptoms that accompany the neurological disease.
Certain medications may help manage the problems associated with balancing and movement. These are basically dopamine supplements to increase the level of the chemical in the body to more normal levels for ideal movement and functioning.
A surgical method for treatment of complications related to Parkinson’s disease is the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) technique. This requires inserting tiny electrodes into specific areas of the brain to send electric impulses to the brain which reduces the symptoms of the disease considerably.
Why choose Travcure for Parkinson’s disease treatment in India?
India is home to the largest and most complete network of global-class healthcare facilities that are spread over all its major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, etc. Travcure is well-connected to this wide and highly-advanced medical network. Travcure offers every patient with the best and most affordable Parkinson’s disease treatment package at the best and most advanced hospitals and clinics in India.