What Are The Symptoms
The best-known symptoms of Parkinson’s disease involve loss of muscle control. However, experts now know that muscle control-related issues aren’t the only possible symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Motor symptoms which means movement-related symptoms of Parkinsons disease include the following:
Additional motor symptoms can include:
- Blinking less often than usual. This is also a symptom of reduced control of facial muscles.
- Cramped or small handwriting. Known as micrographia, this happens because of muscle control problems.
- Drooling. Another symptom that happens because of loss of facial muscle control.
- Mask-like facial expression. Known as hypomimia, this means facial expressions change very little or not at all.
- Trouble swallowing . This happens with reduced throat muscle control. It increases the risk of problems like pneumonia or choking.
- Unusually soft speaking voice . This happens because of reduced muscle control in the throat and chest.
Several symptoms are possible that aren’t connected to movement and muscle control. In years past, experts believed non-motor symptoms were risk factors for this disease when seen before motor symptoms. However, theres a growing amount of evidence that these symptoms can appear in the earliest stages of the disease. That means these symptoms might be warning signs that start years or even decades before motor symptoms.
Non-motor symptoms include:
Stages of Parkinsons disease
Defining The Condition: Parkinsons Vs Essential Tremor
Parkinsons Disease: According to the Parkinsons Foundation, Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominantly dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Parkinsons itself is not a fatal disease, however, it can have serious complications that can be.
- At what age does Parkinsons usually manifest? Typically Parkinsons typically manifests in individuals 50 years or older. However, Young Onset Parkinsons , affects 2% to 10% of individuals in the U.S. with Parkinsons.
- What is the prevalence of Parkinsons disease? According to Nih.gov, approximately 1.8% of adults 65 and older suffer from Parkinsons disease.
Essential Tremor: As defined by John Hopkins Medicine, essential tremor disorder is a neurological condition that causes your hands, head, trunk, voice, or legs to shake rhythmically. Generally, these tremors are worse when moving than when at rest. However, tremors can be severe enough to interfere with regular daily activities such as eating, speaking, and even using the restroom independently. Essential tremor is considered benign, or non-life-threatening.
- At what age does essential tremor usually manifest? Essential tremor typically affects individuals over the age of 65, however, it can develop at any age.
- What is the prevalence of essential tremor? According to Nih.gov, approximately 4.67% of adults 65 and older suffer from essential tremor.
Read Also: Pfnca Wellness Programs
Which Body Parts Do Parkinsons Tremors Affect
There are five main places youâll have Parkinsonâs tremors:
1. Hands. Parkinsonâs disease tremors often start in the fingers or hands with whatâs called a pill-rolling motion. Imagine holding a pill between your thumb and index finger and rolling it back and forth.
2. Foot. A Parkinsonâs foot tremor is more likely to happen while youâre sitting or lying down with your feet at rest. If the tremor moves into your thigh muscles. It could look like your whole leg is shaking.
Foot tremors disappear when you stand or walk because those are active movements. A foot or leg tremor while youâre standing may be another condition.
3. Jaw. This is common in people with Parkinsonâs. It may look like youâre shivering. It can become bothersome if the tremor makes your teeth chatter. If you wear dentures, it could make them shift or fall out.
Chewing eases the tremor, so gum might help.
4. Tongue. Itâs rare, but a tongue tremor can cause your entire head to shake.
5. Internal. Some people with Parkinsonâs say they can feel a shaking sensation in their chest or abdomen. But canât be seen from the outside.
Read Also: What Foods To Eat For Parkinson’s Disease
Next Steps: Getting Care For Parkinsons And Essential Tremor
If you believe you have Parkinsons disease or essential tremor, dont hesitate to seek professional care. Your doctor can help you diagnose your condition, find the right treatment plan for you, and manage your symptoms so you can enjoy the best quality of life possible. While suffering from a condition like essential tremor or Parkinsons can be frightening, you dont have to face it on your own.
MKG-1123 Rev A Feb 2021
Parkinsons Or Benign Essential Tremor
Essential tremors may be confused with the tremors in Parkinsons disease. However, essential tremors usually affect both extremities equally and get worse when the hands are used, in contrast to Parkinsons tremors. Also, Parkinsons tremors are reduced or temporally stopped with carbidopa-levodopa medication while essential tremors respond to other medications. Parkinsons disease does not usually occur in multiple family members but essential tremors do and are more common than Parkinsons tremors.
Recommended Reading: What Does Dbs Do For Parkinson’s
Traditional Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine views disease as caused by internal imbalances. It has historically been used to treat Parkinson disease with acupuncture and individually prepared herbal remedies. One study showed that acupuncture improved symptoms in a small group of people with Parkinson disease. People with Parkinson disease may also find that acupuncture helps them sleep better. If you consult a TCM practitioner, make sure your doctor is aware of any suggested treatment.
Clinical Trials For Parkinsons
A number of clinical trials investigating the cause of Parkinsons, how the disease progresses, and new medications are also underway.
One ongoing study involves the use of a molecular medication that can cross the blood-brain barrier to target early Parkinsons to stop the progression of the disease to later stages.
No home remedies can cure or reverse Parkinsons disease development or progress.
The following home remedies are being studied as possible promising therapies for Parkinsons disease:
- H2 water. H2 water is water with added hydrogen gas. Its being examined in experimental trials as a potential way to
Don’t Miss: What Are The Chances Of Getting Parkinson’s
A Lower Protein Diet To Help Meds Work Better
Diets heavy in protein, for instance, can limit your body’s absorption of levodopa in Sinemet, a common medication used in the management of Parkinson’s disease. As a result, some doctors recommend that people with Parkinson’s limit protein intake to 12 percent of their total daily calories. And taking your medication on an empty stomach before your meals can help your body absorb the drug, notes the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation recommends avoiding certain foods because of possible medication interactions, including:
In addition, fruits and vegetables in your diet may protect nerve cell function and possibly help keep Parkinson’s symptoms under control. Fruits and veggies also provide fiber, which can stimulate bowel movement and prevent constipation. Ask your doctor for a referral to a nutritionist to help make it easier to follow a healthy diet.
How Do I Prevent Falls From Common Hazards
- Floors: Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its usual place.
- Bathroom: Install grab bars and non-skid tape in the tub or shower. Use non-skid bath mats on the floor or install wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Lighting: Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well-lit. Install a night light in your bathroom or hallway and staircase. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night. Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of the bed if you have to get up during the night.
- Kitchen: Install non-skid rubber mats near the sink and stove. Clean spills immediately.
- Stairs: Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs. If stairs are a threat, it might be helpful to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to reduce the number of times you must climb the stairs.
- Entrances and doorways: Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to the doorknobs of all doors to make it more secure as you travel through the doorway.
Don’t Miss: Is Parkinson’s Disease A Genetic Disorder
Live Large With Parkinsons At The Countryside Y
These two 25-minute exercise classes are designed for people with Parkinsons. The exercises may be done seated or standing, supported by a chair. These videos were created in March/April 2020.
Purchase Info: www.lsvtglobal.com or email
Cost: $28 for DVD or download $15/year streaming
Videos are designed for people with PD to use as an adjunct to LSVT BIG treatment delivered by an LSVT BIG certified clinician. The videos can also be used during the month of therapy and after therapy as a motivation to practice and keep moving. Volume 1 contains standard exercises while standing. Volume 2 contains exercises adapted to seated and supine positions, plus a chapter for caregivers. Available in English, German and Japanese.
Purchase Info: Ohana Pacific Rehab Services, 808-262-1118, online
Cost: $24.50 for DVD $19.50 for book $40 for DVD and book
This program focuses on exercises, flexibility, and pragmatic solutions for walking, moving, falling, and getting up off the floor. Adaptive equipment is reviewed. Demonstrators have PD. Three levels of exercise shown. Designed by a physical therapist.
Tremors Yes Parkinson’s Disease No
Essential tremor is often mistaken for Parkinson’s disease, but the two conditions differ in several ways. Essential tremor is an action tremor, meaning that the involuntary shaking increases when you move and try to use your hands. In Parkinson’s disease, tremors occur mainly at rest, and activity reduces the symptoms. Some people with essential tremor develop head nodding or shaking few people with Parkinson’s do. Balance problems and rigidity of the arms and legs are common features of Parkinson’s disease but not of essential tremor. One of the hallmarks of essential tremor, useful in diagnosing the disorder, is that alcohol can temporarily ease symptoms in Parkinson’s, alcohol has little effect on the tremor.
Parkinson’s disease is marked by a progressive loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, a chemical messenger that enables normal body movements. Essential tremor also appears to involve a disruption in the activity of motor pathways, but it’s uncertain whether there is any loss of brain cells. Postmortem examinations of brain tissue taken from people with essential tremor reveal various abnormalities in the cerebellum and brainstem, including the loss of Purkinje cells, which produce an important neurotransmitter, called GABA. But the samples don’t all show the same changes, so the import of these findings is uncertain.
Read Also: How Does Stress Affect Parkinson’s Patients
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible For Treatment
Your doctor is the best person to ask about this. He or she will be able to tell you if you are a suitable candidate. In general, people who cannot go into an MRI will not be able to go through the treatment this includes patients with metallic implants, patients who are claustrophobic and patients who are allergic to contrast agents a dye used during MR imaging, patients who are over 300 lbs and patients who are under 22 years of age.
- If you have any kind of metallic implants, such as pacemakers, neurostimulators, spine or bone fixation devices, total joints, metal clips, screws, etc., you may not be a candidate. Any metallic implants must be non-magnetic to prevent injury to the patient from the MRs strong magnetic field.
- If you are not generally healthy enough to withstand the treatment and lie still in the same position for approximately 3 hours, you may not be a suitable candidate for this treatment.
- If you have had a recent myocardial infarction or have congestive heart failure , unstable angina pectoris , or spinal conditions, are you should discuss these issues with your doctor.
- If you have extensive scarring on the scalp, you may not be a good candidate.
- If you have any tumors inside the skull, you may not be a good candidate.
- If you are on dialysis, you may not be a good candidate.
- If you have an active infection or severe hematological, neurological or other uncontrolled disease, you may not be a good candidate.
How Is It Diagnosed
Diagnosing Parkinson’s disease is mostly a clinical process, meaning it relies heavily on a healthcare provider examining your symptoms, asking you questions and reviewing your medical history. Some diagnostic and lab tests are possible, but these are usually needed to rule out other conditions or certain causes. However, most lab tests aren’t necessary unless you don’t respond to treatment for Parkinson’s disease, which can indicate you have another condition.
Read Also: How To Check For Parkinson’s
Technical Information On Hifu
For the procedure using Haifu technology, special equipment and hardware are used. It is represented by a stereotaxic head frame , which is connected to an MRI-compatible ultrasound transducer . After stereotactic navigation using MRI, the ultrasound energy is sequentially calibrated to temperatures sufficient to ablate tissue . Each short-term ultrasound treatment is monitored by magnetic resonance thermometry, direct clinical assessment of tremor reduction and side effects is performed.
Before the procedure, the patient is trimmed bald because the space between the helmet and the head will be occupied by water. The standard and required size of the neural zone is 2 by 2 mm. This eliminates the possibility of damage to other parts of the brain. Ablation lasts only 7 seconds. The task is to exclude the work of a certain number of neurons forever, while not destroying neighboring neural circuits.
The whole process takes 2 hours. First, there is a brain scan, then image calibration and simulation. After that, the process of titration of temperatures is carried out with a gradual increase until a clinical effect appears. All this time, a neurologist is nearby, who constantly monitors and evaluates the clinical results, while the patient himself is conscious, no anesthesia is applied.
You May Like: Diseases Similar To Parkinsonâs
The Potential Neuroprotective Effect Of Exercise
Arguably the most important benefit of exercise if you have Parkinsons disease is its neuroprotective effects. The Parkinsons Foundation defines neuroprotection as defenses against the damage, degeneration, and/or death of neurons, or the cells in your nervous system.
This is important, given that Parkinsons interferes with the neurons in your brain that control body movement.
In fact, the Parkinsons Foundation says that interventions that provide neuroprotective benefits, including exercise, can change the course of Parkinsons disease in other words, slow the progression of symptoms.
You May Like: Parkinson Silverware
Also Check: Is Constipation A Symptom Of Parkinson’s
What Medications And Treatments Are Used
Medication treatments for Parkinsons disease fall into two categories: Direct treatments and symptom treatments. Direct treatments target Parkinsons itself. Symptom treatments only treat certain effects of the disease.
Medications that treat Parkinsons disease do so in multiple ways. Because of that, drugs that do one or more of the following are most likely:
Several medications treat specific symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms treated often include the following:
- Erectile and sexual dysfunction.
- Hallucinations and other psychosis symptoms.
Deep brain stimulation
In years past, surgery was an option to intentionally damage and scar a part of your brain that was malfunctioning because of Parkinsons disease. Today, that same effect is possible using deep-brain stimulation, which uses an implanted device to deliver a mild electrical current to those same areas.
The major advantage is that deep-brain stimulation is reversible, while intentional scarring damage is not. This treatment approach is almost always an option in later stages of Parkinson’s disease when levodopa therapy becomes less effective, and in people who have tremor that doesnt seem to respond to the usual medications.
Researchers are exploring other possible treatments that could help with Parkinsons disease. While these arent widely available, they do offer hope to people with this condition. Some of the experimental treatment approaches include:
Other Tremors And How It Differs
A Parkinsonian tremor has a few distinct characteristics, though it may be easy to confuse with other types of tremors depending on the other symptoms a person shows. Doctors will look for and rule out other types of tremors to confirm their diagnosis.
Recommended Reading: Does Vitamin B12 Help Parkinsons
You May Like: How Is The Family Of A Person With Parkinson’s Affected
Aerobic Exercise Helps You Maintain A Healthy Weight
Aerobic exercise helps keep your heart healthy while helping your body burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Examples of aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, running, swimming, dancing, water aerobics, chair aerobics, and biking.
The Parkinsons Foundation recommends doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, five times a week. Your routines are up to you, and you can design them around any physical limitations.
I really encourage my patients to get out into nature, go for a walk in the park with a friend or spend time in the garden, Subramanian notes. Being outside in the sunshine is healthy, as long as you dont get too much sun, and walking or hiking can get your heart rate up. Doing these activities with friends or caregivers is also fun and helps avoid the isolation some people with Parkinsons experience.
Recommended Reading: Does Sam Waterston Have Parkinsons
Treatments For Essential Tremor
According to Harvard.edu, there are several actions that can be taken to help manage your essential tremor and minimize how they impact your daily life. First, lets cover treatment options:
As each patient is different, you and your doctor will need to decide what the best course of action is for you. You must weigh the pros and cons of each treatment option based on your lifestyle and how you think theyll impact your quality of life.
Also Check: Will Parkinson’s Disease Kill You