What Should Sick Individuals Do
If symptoms are present or a COVID-19 diagnosis is confirmed, the following;steps;should be taken to prevent the spread of infection:
- Stay at home, preferably in a separate room not shared with others, and isolate yourself, with the exception of getting medical care.;
- Avoid public areas and public transport.
- Wear a mask if you have to be around people.
- Limit contact with pets and animals.
- Avoid sharing personal items.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues and dispose of them properly.
- Sanitize hands regularly.;
Are People With Parkinsons Disease More At Risk
Parkinsons disease itself does not increase the risk of catching COVID-19. However, older adults;are at the highest risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19, and because most patients with Parkinsons are typically older, they should take extra precautions to protect themselves.;
In addition to the general preventive measures listed above, patients with Parkinsons and their caregivers should:;
- Stock up on necessary medications and supplies that can last for a few weeks.
- Avoid crowds and non-essential travel.
- Stay at home as much as possible.
Patients and caregivers should consult their healthcare providers if they show any COVID-19-like symptoms. Caregivers should have an alternate care plan in place in the event they contract the virus.
Who Gets Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsonâs disease, documented in 1817 by physician James Parkinson, is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimerâs disease. Estimates regarding the number of people in the United States with Parkinsonâs range from 500,000 to 1,500,000, with 50,000 to 60,000 new cases reported annually. No objective test for Parkinsonâs disease exists, so the misdiagnosis rate can be high, especially when a professional who doesnât regularly work with the disease makes the diagnosis.
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In Summary Reduce Your Stress
The most important thing we can do for our long-term health, both physical and cognitive, is to reduce the stress in our bodies. All stress physical, emotional and chemical causes inflammation and long-term damage throughout the body.
Whether youre seeking Parkinsons prevention techniques or ways to alleviate symptoms, any of the above dietary and lifestyle practices can have long-term health benefits. Drinking green tea, eating organic, local vegetables, and regular aerobic exercise all significantly reduce the long-term cumulative damage done by stress.
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What Are The Different Stages Of Parkinsons Disease
Each person with Parkinsons disease experiences symptoms in in their own unique way. Not everyone experiences all symptoms of Parkinsons disease. You may not experience symptoms in the same order as others. Some people may have mild symptoms; others may have intense symptoms. How quickly symptoms worsen also varies from individual to individual and is difficult to impossible to predict at the outset.
In general, the disease progresses from early stage to mid-stage to mid-late-stage to advanced stage. This is what typically occurs during each of these stages:
Early symptoms of Parkinsons disease are usually mild and typically occur slowly and do not interfere with daily activities. Sometimes early symptoms are not easy to detect or you may think early symptoms are simply normal signs of aging. You may have fatigue or a general sense of uneasiness. You may feel a slight tremor or have difficulty standing.
Often, a family member or friend notices some of the subtle signs before you do. They may notice things like body stiffness or lack of normal movement slow or small handwriting, lack of expression in your face, or difficulty getting out of a chair.
Standing and walking are becoming more difficult and may require assistance with a walker. You may need full time help to continue to live at home.
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Can Parkinsons Disease Be Prevented
Unfortunately, no. Parkinsons disease is long-term disease that worsens over time. Although there is no way to prevent or cure the disease , medications may significantly relieve your symptoms. In some patients especially those with later-stage disease, surgery to improve symptoms may be an option.
What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make To Ease Parkinsons Symptoms
Exercise: Exercise helps improve muscle strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and tremor. It is also strongly believed to improve memory, thinking and reduce the risk of falls and decrease anxiety and depression. One study in persons with Parkinsons disease showed that 2.5 hours of exercise per week resulted in improved ability to move and a slower decline in quality of life compared to those who didnt exercise or didnt start until later in the course of their disease. Some exercises to consider include strengthening or resistance training, stretching exercises or aerobics . All types of exercise are helpful.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet: This is not only good for your general health but can ease some of the non-movement related symptoms of Parkinsons, such as constipation. Eating foods high in fiber in particular can relieve constipation. The Mediterranean diet is one example of a healthy diet.
Preventing falls and maintaining balance: Falls are a frequent complication of Parkinson’s. While you can do many things to reduce your risk of falling, the two most important are: 1) to work with your doctor to ensure that your treatments whether medicines or deep brain stimulation are optimal; and 2) to consult with a physical therapist who can assess your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the expert when it comes to recommending assistive devices or exercise to improve safety and preventing falls.
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Who Are More Vulnerable
“The prevalence of Parkinson’s increases with age and only 4 per cent of Parkinson’s cases are diagnosed before the age of 50. While approximately 1 per cent of the population above 60 years suffers from Parkinson’s, its instance increases to 5 per cent among those above 86 years.”
“Parkinson’s disease is already the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world; and some international studies suggest that the number of people with Parkinson’s has increased by over 35 per cent in the last 10 years. Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, it is important its victims know about the condition at an early stage which could be managed using medications. Occasionally, doctors may suggest surgery to regulate certain regions of the brain to improve the symptoms,” Ketan Chaturvedi, Senior Consultant, Neurology, Wockhardt Hospital at Nagpur.
“Mental health issues are underrated, stigmatized, and unaddressed in our society; and such conditions could be linked to more serious complications like Parkinson’s disease. It is important we take a sympathetic approach to the victims of Parkinson’s disease,and the social circle around such individuals promptly identifies these symptoms and provides help in improving the overall quality of life of these individuals,” added Praveen Changala, Consultant — Neuro Physician, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital, LBNagar.
So What Do We Know So Far
The substantia nigra is an area of the mid brain located at the top of the spinal cord, which has been the focus of much work into how Parkinsons affects the brain.
There are a right and a left substantia nigra, and often one side is affected before the other. Because of this, people with Parkinsons often experience symptoms primarily on one side of their body, particularly in the early stages. Indeed, this common feature of the condition often helps to distinguish Parkinsons from other similar conditions.
When it comes to confirming a diagnosis, it is the substantia nigra where pathologists look for changes at the end of life in brain tissue that has been donated to research. And the loss of the dopamine-producing cells in this area of the brain, accompanied by the presence of clumps of alpha-synuclein protein , has been the hallmark of Parkinsons for decades.
You can read more about the alpha-synuclein protein, and how it plays a role in the spread of Parkinsons, in a previous blog post:
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How Is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed
Someone with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be sent to see a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in the brain, nerves, and muscles. The neurologist may do some tests, including a brain scan and blood tests. These tests will not make the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, but the doctor will want to make sure that there is no other problem causing the symptoms. To diagnose Parkinson’s disease, the doctor relies on a person’s medical history, symptoms, and a physical exam.
The Origin Of Pd: A Disease With Multifocal Origins
A recent threshold hypothesis argues that PD develops simultaneously in multiple foci of the CNS and PNS that voids the need for pathology spread. The mechanism underlying this process is the increased susceptibility of specific neurons in GI, olfactory cortex, SNc and sleep centres to develop LB pathology with the resulting destruction of local networks. Whether and when this network destruction causes symptoms and their severity depends on the intrinsic vulnerability of the neurons and robustness of their circuits, resulting in the overall functional reserve of a particular system. The emphasis of this hypothesis is on the local origin of multiple LB foci and the lesser importance of neuron-to-neuron spread. The weaknesses are that provides no mechanism to explain selective vulnerability and argues against the spread of pathology as a central mechanism that is consistent with both stereotypic disease progression and experimental data.
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The Spreading Pathology Of Pd
The early LB pathology of ENS neurons has been interpreted as suggesting that the PD pathology starts in the gut via exogenous agents: the dual-hit hypothesis. This seminal work mapped the distribution of LB pathology to stage PD progression from I to VI. The study concluded that the PD pathology actually starts in the olfactory epithelium and the gut as a consequence to exposure to toxins or neurotropic pathogens that infect neurons or start an inflammatory cascade that damages peripheral neurons, spreads to postsynaptic brainstem neurons followed by basal ganglia and frontal cortex by anterograde transmission . These observations have two important implications: exogenous triggers of -syn pathology attack peripheral tissues first and -syn aggregates actively spread from the PNS to and throughout the brain. We will review these concepts in the following chapters.
One Final Argument: Distinct
The similarities between PD and prion diseases were highlighted recently with the identification of -syn strains with distinct biochemical and biological properties. Three 2013 studies demonstrated for the first time that -syn can form distinctive strains based on the definition of protein strain. Two of these studies generated synthetic -syn fibres that showed distinct structure, cellular toxicity, seeding properties and propagation in cultured cells. The third study demonstrated transmission of -syn pathology from patient brain extracts into cell culture, finding evidence for three different -syn strains in MSA-derived extracts. Interestingly, this study failed to transmit -syn pathology from extracts of patients with PD, further supporting the heterogenicity of -syn aggregates . Another study found that two structural forms -syn led to different phenotypes when transferred into rats, with the ribbons producing symptoms similar to those of PD and MSA. Last, a recent work found that an MSA-specific conformation of -syn specifically propagates in oligodendrocytes, the main cell type affected in MSA. This paper provides evidence for the role of cellular context in the propagation and transmission of specific strains, which potentially explains the differences between synucleinopathies. Overall, recent work strongly supports the prion-like behaviour of -syn and, therefore, the likelihood of its trans-synaptic transmission.
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When People Talk About Parkinsons They May Mention The Effects It Has On The Substantia Nigra But Did You Know That There Are Other Areas Of The Brain That Are Affected By The Condition
Parkinsons is a condition that causes the gradual loss of the dopamine-producing brain cells of the substantia nigra an area of the brain located just above where the spinal cord meets the midbrain. It is these cells that produce and release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which has a key role in turning thought about movement into action.
While this definition of the condition is useful to briefly explain Parkinsons, the whole story is somewhat more complex. Over the last 30 years, it has become accepted that Parkinsons also causes a number of non-motor symptoms, such as changes in sleep, smell and even the way we think, which likely involve other areas of the brain.
Now scientists are looking at the broader effects of the condition on the brain in an attempt to better understand why people experience different symptoms. The finding could lead us to new treatments that tackle more than just the motor symptoms of the condition.
What Are The Surgical Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Most patients with Parkinsons disease can maintain a good quality of life with medications. However, as the disease worsens, medications may no longer be effective in some patients. In these patients, the effectiveness of medications becomes unpredictable reducing symptoms during on periods and no longer controlling symptoms during off periods, which usually occur when the medication is wearing off and just before the next dose is to be taken. Sometimes these variations can be managed with changes in medications. However, sometimes they cant. Based on the type and severity of your symptoms, the failure of adjustments in your medications, the decline in your quality of life and your overall health, your doctor may discuss some of the available surgical options.
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What Are The Symptoms
According to the health experts, various types of sleep disturbances, visual hallucinations, thoughts filled with paranoia are also noticed in the patients.
1. Tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head.
2. Slowness of movement.
3. Stiffness of the limbs and trunk.
4. Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls.
New Diagnostic Standards For Parkinsons
Until recently, the gold-standard checklist for diagnosis came from the U.K.s Parkinsons Disease Society Brain Bank. It was a checklist that doctors followed to determine if the symptoms they saw fit the disease. But thats now considered outdated. Recently, new criteria from the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society have come into use. This list reflects the most current understanding of the condition. It allows doctors to reach a more accurate diagnosis so patients can begin treatment at earlier stages.
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How To Diagnose Parkinson’s
Screening for mental health issues in the first visit to the neurologist is a must. In the busy clinics, the caretaker must proactively bring up issues pertaining to mental health so that they could be addressed. Usually, a multidisciplinary approach is needed to tackle mental health issues.
“An exercise program for victims of Parkinson’s disease helps boost their motivation and support groups help them overcome the depression. Appropriate medicines are added as per the need. Psychosis wherein Parkinson’s disease individuals lose touch with reality has to be dealt with sensitively. Caregivers and society need to be told that it is their faulty mind and not the original person that is behaving abnormally. Psychology, therapy, and drugs form the core of therapy,” addedAbhinay Huchche.
Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited
Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.
There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.
Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.
Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.
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Research Into Genes And Parkinsons
Our major effort now is understanding how mutations in these genes cause Parkinsons disease, says Dawson. SNCA, the gene responsible for making the protein that clumps in the brain and triggers symptoms, is particularly interesting.
Our research is trying to understand how alpha-synuclein works, how it travels through the brain, says Dawson. The latest theory is that it transfers from cell to cell, and our work supports that idea. Weve identified a protein that lets clumps of alpha-synuclein into cells, and we hope a therapy can be developed that interferes with that process.
Targeting Parkinsons-Linked Protein Could Neutralize 2 of the Diseases Causes
Researchers report they have discovered how two problem proteins known to cause Parkinsons disease are chemically linked, suggesting that someday, both could be neutralized by a single drug designed to target the link.
Quick Overview If Youre In A Hurry
- The shape of different proteins allows them to carry out different jobs in the cell.
- Proteins with the wrong shape can cause problems.
- In Parkinsons, a protein called alpha-synuclein misfold, becoming toxic
- This toxic protein can travel from cell to cell and is believed to be responsible for spreading Parkinsons through the brain.
- Understanding how it spreads is helping researchers discover ways to stop Parkinsons in its tracks.
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