Saturday, November 26, 2016
Parkinson’s Disease: The Incurable Disease
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is classified as a motor system disorder that affects movement. Motor system disorders are the direct result of the loss of dopamine producing cells throughout the brain. Dopamine-generating cells, which are known as dopaminergic neurons which are located in the substantia-nigra part of the brain begin to die off, which induces Parkinson’s Disease and its symptoms. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand.1 These barely noticeable tremors are the most well-known signs of PD, but the disorder also commonly causes movement to slow, and stiffness throughout the affected musculature and joints. The earlier stages of Parkinson’s Disease can cause the face to show little to no expression as it normally would, or the arms may not swing while the individual is walking, accompanied by slurred speech. The earlier stages of PD are mild.
Parkinson’s Disease and its symptoms will vary from individual to individual, the earliest signs may be mild or go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.2
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease may include:
· Tremors; Or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face.
· Rigidity or stiffness of the limbs or trunk.
· Postural instability/loss of balance.
· Slowness of movement (bradykinesia) and impaired coordination.
· Loss of automatic/ unconscious movements.
· Changes in speech and handwriting.
Although PD cannot be cured a doctor can prescribe medications that can improve symptoms, or the individual may undergo surgical therapy to regulate certain regions of the brain and improve symptoms. With each case of Parkinson’s Disease, the symptoms or severity can differ from person to person, so it is important to take note of each individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and pain levels. Along with surgical therapy and medication the individual can also make some lifestyle modifications that may alleviate or slow the symptoms. These lifestyle changes can be as simple as getting more rest and adding exercise to the individual’s daily regimen. Exercise can have noticeable benefits on the individual’s pain levels, stiffness, and balance. Light stretching will help alleviate pain and improve flexibility. Light, repetitive exercise can improve strength, flexibility, lung function as well as improve pain management. This is a serious neurological disease and must be treated as such, but light exercise and massage therapy can influence drastic improvements in the symptoms. After reading this blog you should know what Parkinson’s Disease is, what causes it, its symptoms, and how to treat the disorder. In next week’s blog I will be going over the different types of strokes, the signs & symptoms, and treatment and rehabilitation.
1Staff, B. M. (2015, July 07). Parkinson's Disease. Retrieved November 05, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/basics/definition/CON-20028488
2Staff, B. M. (2015, July 07). Parkinson's Disease Symptoms. Retrieved November 05, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/basics/symptoms/CON-20028488
3Specialty, B. (2015, May 28). Parkinson’s Disease - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment. Retrieved November 05, 2016, from http://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/Parkinsonsdisease.htm