Parkinson’s disease was first described by James Parkinson in 1817, and therefore won the scientist’s name. The disease attacks the brain, causing dysfunction of neurons, resulting in tremors, difficulty walking, jogging and coordinate themselves.
The Parkinson’s disease affects both men and women and is most commonly occurs after age 50. In some cases, however, it is hereditary and then younger people are also prone to developing it.
Causes and symptoms
To help control muscle movements in the brain nerve cells require a hormone called dopamine. Parkinson’s occurs when cells that produce dopamine are destroyed slowly. Without the hormone, brain cells do not send more messages to the muscles properly. Over time, there is the loss of muscle function, which worsens over the years. It is unclear which leads to wearing of cells producing dopamine in the brain.
The disease can affect only one side of the body or both, depending on the intensity. The symptoms at first are subtle and hard to get noticed. The patient may feel a small tremor periodically or the feeling that the leg or foot are stiff.
With the worsening of the disease, however, the symptoms become clearer, and may include: reduction or disappearance of automatic movements such as blinking Act; difficulty swallowing; constant drool; poor balance when walking; loss of expressions on the face; muscle aches; difficulty starting or continuing movement, such as rising from a chair or start walking; stiff muscles, often beginning in the legs; tremors that occur in the limbs at rest or lifting your arm or leg; tiredness, excitement or stress; voice inside, lower and monotonous.
When the disease is already in a very advanced stage, other symptoms may also be purchased, such as tremor in the head, lips and feet; anxiety, stress and tension; confusion; dementia; depression; fainting; hallucinations; memory loss.
Treatment and care
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms. The easiest way is to restore dopamine levels in the brain. In some cases, however, the dopamine may again become scarce and, thus, the symptoms appear again. If this happens, it is necessary for the doctor to reassess the type of medication or doses that the patient is ingesting.
Some medicines can cause serious side effects, such as hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and delirium. Therefore, the medical monitoring is essential along with the treatment of the disease.
Some symptoms of Parkinson’s are very intense and even with medication, they can not return to normal. This is the case with stooped posture, frozen movements, and speech difficulties.
In extreme cases, surgery is indicated for patients who no longer respond to most drugs. It does not cure Parkinson’s, but may help control some of the symptoms. One destroys the brain tissue that help to cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. In another, the surgeon electrical stimulators implanted in the brain to stimulate specific brain areas and to make the patient to regain muscle movements.
The best way to help the living of the people who have Parkinson’s, however, is making some changes in lifestyle. Provide good nutrition; exercise, but adjusting the activity level according to the fluctuating levels of energy; having regular periods of rest and avoid stress; physical therapy, speech therapy or occupational therapy; put handrails in areas commonly used in the house; and use special utensils for eating are some tips that facilitate the day-to-day lives of patients.