Mind Matters

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a movement disorder. It occurs due to deficiency in Dopamine producing neurons (nerve cells).

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include the following:

  • Tremors: Shaking of arms, hands, legs and jaws.
  • Rigidity: Stiffness in limbs and trunk.
  • Bradykinesia: Slowness of movements.
  • Postural instability: Loss of balance and coordination.

Symptomatic Progress of Parkinson’s Disease

Initially the patient is not that affected. But as these symptoms progress the patient is subjected to progressive degeneration. This affects the day to day activities of the patient. The limitation posed by the progressive damage results in the depression. In late stages, the symptoms worsen to the extent that even the swallowing and chewing of the food is affected.

Other Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Impaired speech
  • Urinary problems
  • Skin problems
  • Constipation
  • Sleep disturbance

Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

The diagnosis of Parkinson disease is still not comprehensive because standard clinical diagnostic methods are not sufficient for its diagnosis. Imaging, to an extent helps the doctor to come to reasonable conclusion regarding the presence of the disorder in a particular patient. So as of now standard medical examination and the general case history are two of the most dependable tools for a neurologist.

Treatment Options for Parkinson’s Disease

Following treatment options exist for the Parkinson’s disease:

Levodopa combined with Carbidopa: Carbidopa helps guide the Levodopa to the brain region where it converts into Dopamine.

Bromocriptine, Pramipexole, and Ropinirole: These drugs mimic the role of Dopamine and thus help the patient to cope up with the symptoms better.

Amantadine (Antiviral drug): Helps in reducing symptoms.

Rasagiline used along with Levodopa: Used for patients with advanced PD, as a single-drug treatment for early PD

Deep brain stimulation

Surgery is suggested in some patients.

Prognosis of Parkinson’s Disease

Prognosis is very poor. It is chronic (long lasting) and progressively degenerating disorder. Some people are severely disabled. Tremors are generally the major symptom though not uniformly present in all the patients.

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