Thursday, June 16, 2022
Thursday, June 16, 2022
HomeCureWhen A Person Is Suffering With Parkinson's Disease

When A Person Is Suffering With Parkinson’s Disease

What Does Parkinson’s Do To The Brain

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Deep down in your brain, there’s an area called the substantia nigra, which is in the basal ganglia. Some of its cells make dopamine, a chemical that carries messages around your brain. When you need to scratch an itch or kick a ball, dopamine quickly carries a message to the nerve cell that controls that movement.

When that system is working well, your body moves smoothly and evenly. But when you have Parkinson’s, the cells of your substantia nigra start to die. There’s no replacing them, so your dopamine levels drop and you can’t fire off as many messages to control smooth body movements.

Early on, you won’t notice anything different. But as more and more cells die, you reach a tipping point where you start to have symptoms.

That may not be until 80% of the cells are gone, which is why you can have Parkinson’s for quite a while before you realize it.

Learn Everything You Can About The Disease

Parkinsons disease is a movement disorder. If youre a caregiver for someone living with Parkinsons, youre likely familiar with some of the symptoms of the disease. But do you know what causes its symptoms, how the condition progresses, or what treatments can help manage it? Also, Parkinsons doesnt manifest the same way in everyone.

To be the best ally for your loved one, learn as much as you can about Parkinsons disease. Do research on reputable websites like the Parkinsons Foundation, or read books about the condition. Tag along for medical appointments and ask the doctor questions. If youre well informed, youll have a better idea of what to expect and how to be the most help.

Who Is Prone To Parkinson’s Disease

Some people are more to Parkinsons disease than others. They include:

  • People who are of advanced age
  • Males are more likely to get Parkinsons disease than females
  • People with a family history of Parkinsons disease
  • Postmenopausal women who have very low levels of oestrogen
  • Women who have undergone hysterectomies
  • People who suffer from vitamin B deficiency
  • People who have suffered from head trauma
  • People who are frequently exposed to environmental toxins such as a pesticide or herbicide

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Parkinson’s Treatment: Dopamine Agonists

Although carbidopa-levodopa is the usual first-choice drug to treat Parkinson’s disease, other drugs that mimic the action of dopamine, termed dopamine agonists, may be used when the effects of carbidopa-levodopa wane. Such drugs as Apokyn, Mirapex, Parlodel, and Requip are used these drugs have side effects similar to carbidopa-levodopa .

Have You Ever Thought How Challenging Drinking A Glass Of Water Can Be For Someone Suffering From Parkinsons Disease

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On World Health Day, youll likely read about how healthy habits like exercising or drinking more water, can improve your health. While these are helpful tips and important topics to cover, we decided to take things a step further. What if you couldnt drink that glass of water by yourself? It can be daunting to consider, but this scenario can become all-too-real for a person suffering from Parkinsons disease. There are 10 million people in the world suffering from this disorder which is why, today, we decided to share with you how Parkinsons Disease can affect mobility and balance, and what can be done when the disorder is detected in its early stages. That is why raising awareness for this degenerative disease is important, and, while there is still much research to be done, we have high hopes that researchers will find a way to reduce the symptoms of Parkinsons disease, and eventually find a cure. This is becoming more and more urgent, given the fact that life expectancy is rising and the number of individuals with Parkinsons disease will only increase in the future. But is there another solution in sight?

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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.

Advancing Age Of A Person

Most of the research studies have revealed that the problem usually takes place in human beings during the middle to later years of human life. Moreover, the risk associated with the Parkinsons disease continues, as a person becomes old. Few researchers have even assumed that people suffering from Parkinsons disease even suffered from neural damages because of environmental or genetic factors, which become further worse with age.

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Does Parkinson’s Disease Cause Dementia

The cells in the brain affected in PD are not in the ‘thinking’ parts of the brain and dementia is not a typical early feature of PD. However, if you have PD you have an increased risk of developing dementia. About half of people with PD develop dementia at some stage. If dementia occurs, it tends to develop in older people with PD . Early dementia in younger people with PD virtually never develops. It is thought that PD alone does not cause dementia however, other age-related factors in addition to PD may increase the risk of dementia developing.

Neurobehavioral And Psychiatric Disorders

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Parkinsons disease is a slowly progressing, degenerative disease that is the most common form of Parkinsonism, a group of motor system disorders.

For some time it was incorrectly believed that Parkinsons disease disappeared after the introduction of levodopa in the 1960s. In fact, about 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, with more than half a million Americans affected at any one time. Further, more people suffer from Parkinsons disease than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis combined.

Parkinsons disease is chronic , and progressive .

Although the disease may appear in younger patients , it usually affects people in late middle age. The disease affects men and women in almost equal numbers. It is not contagious, nor is it likely passed on from generation to generation.

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Parkinsons Disease Signs And Symptoms

It can be quite difficult to tell if a person is suffering from Parkinsons disease or not because there can be the involvement of multiple symptoms in a single individual. However, if a person suffers from more than one symptoms of Parkinsons disease, he must go for a doctors appointment.

Following are the fifteen symptoms of Parkinsons disease:

Tremors

Shaking of hands or tremors is one of the most common movement related symptoms of Parkinsons disease. When a person feels slight shaking of his hands at rest, then it is an early sign of Parkinsons disease. A person with Parkinsons disease can notice tremors in his hand, fingers, thumb, or even chin. Low dopamine levels can contribute to uncontrollable shaking of body parts. However, slight shaking is normal if a person exercises a lot or is going through stress but repetitive tremors are a sign of Parkinsons disease.

Environmental Factors And Exposures

Exposure to pesticides and a history of head injury have each been linked with PD, but the risks are modest. Never having smoked cigarettes, and never drinking caffeinated beverages, are also associated with small increases in risk of developing PD.

Low concentrations of urate in the blood is associated with an increased risk of PD.

Drug-induced parkinsonism

Different medical drugs have been implicated in cases of parkinsonism. Drug-induced parkinsonism is normally reversible by stopping the offending agent. Drugs include:

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Medical Treatment For Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured, though taking the medicines timely as prescribed by the doctor can control your symptoms, often dramatically. The doctor may suggest lifestyle changes, and exercises and physical therapy that focuses on balance and stretching.

Based on the severity of the patients condition the doctor may also suggest surgery.

What Research Is Being Done

12 Little Known Facts about Parkinsons Disease

The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use the knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world. NINDS conducts and supports three types of research: basicscientific discoveries in the lab, clinicaldeveloping and studying therapeutic approaches to Parkinsons disease, and translationalfocused on tools and resources that speed the development of therapeutics into practice. The goals of NINDS-supported research on Parkinsons disease are to better understand and diagnose PD, develop new treatments, and ultimately, prevent PD. NINDS also supports training for the next generation of PD researchers and clinicians and serves as an important source of information for people with PD and their families.

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What Causes Parkinson’s

Doctors aren’t sure why all those brain cells start dying. They think it’s a mix of your genes and something in the environment, but the reason is not straightforward.

Someone could have a change in a gene tied to Parkinson’s, but never get the disease. That happens a lot. And a bunch of people could work side by side in a place with chemicals linked to Parkinson’s, but only a few of them end up with it.

It’s a complex puzzle, and scientists are still trying to put all the pieces together.

Take Care Of Yourself

Probably one of the most important, and sometimes difficult, things caregivers can do is to take care of themselves. This includes maintaining mental and physical health by making and keeping your own medical and dental appointments. As a caregiver, it is important to keep your job whenever possible as it provides not only financial help and possibly insurance coverage, but also a sense of self-esteem. Join a support group for caregivers if possible. Support groups help you meet people who are going through what you are going though, vent frustrations, give and receive mutual support, and exchange resource information and coping strategies. Whenever possible get your sleep, take breaks, make and keep social activities, and try to keep your sense of humor.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors or trembling difficulty maintaining balance and coordination trouble standing or walking stiffness and general slowness.

Over time, a person with Parkinson’s may have trouble smiling, talking, or swallowing. Their faces may appear flat and without expression, but people with Parkinson’s continue to have feelings even though their faces don’t always show it. Sometimes people with the disease can have trouble with thinking and remembering too.

Because of problems with balance, some people with Parkinson’s fall down a lot, which can result in broken bones. Some people with Parkinson’s may also feel sad or depressed and lose interest in the things they used to do.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear gradually and get worse over time. But because Parkinson’s disease usually develops slowly, most people who have it can live a long and relatively healthy life.

What Are The Complications Of Parkinson Disease

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Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.

Parkinson disease dementia can cause problems with:

  • Speaking and communicating with others
  • Problem solving
  • Forgetfulness
  • Paying attention

If you have Parkinson disease and dementia, in time, you likely won’t be able to live by yourself. Dementia affects your ability to care of yourself, even if you can still physically do daily tasks.

Experts don’t understand how or why dementia often occurs with Parkinson disease. Its clear, though, that dementia and problems with cognitive function are linked to changes in the brain that cause problems with movement. As with Parkinson disease, dementia occurs when nerve cells degenerate, leading to chemical changes in the brain. Parkinson disease dementia may be treated with medicines also used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, another type of dementia.

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Parkinson’s Disease Diet And Nutrition

Maintaining Your Weight With Parkinson’s Disease

Malnutrition and weight maintenance is often an issue for people with Parkinson’s disease. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.

  • Weigh yourself once or twice a week, unless your doctor recommends weighing yourself often. If you are taking diuretics or steroids, such as prednisone, you should weigh yourself daily.
  • If you have an unexplained weight gain or loss , contact your doctor. He or she may want to modify your food or fluid intake to help manage your condition.
  • Avoid low-fat or low-calorie products. . Use whole milk, whole milk cheese, and yogurt.

What Are The Symptoms

Symptoms of PD vary from person to person, as does the rate of progression. A person who has Parkinson’s may experience some of these more common “hallmark” symptoms:

  • Bradykinesia – slowness of movement, impaired dexterity, decreased blinking, drooling, expressionless face.
  • Tremor at rest – involuntary shaking that decreases with purposeful movement. Typically starts on one side of the body, usually the hand.
  • Rigidity – stiffness caused by involuntary increase in muscle tone.
  • Postural instability – sense of imbalance. Patients often compensate by lowering their center of gravity, which results in a stooped posture.

Other symptoms that may or may not occur:

Freezing or being stuck in place Shuffling gait or dragging of one foot Stooped posture Cognitive impairment

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How Will The Disease Affect My Life

Most people who have Parkinson√Ęs live a normal to a nearly normal lifespan, but the disease can be life changing.

For some people, treatment keeps the symptoms at bay, and they’re mostly mild. For others, the disease is much more serious and really limits what you’re able to do.

As it gets worse, it makes it harder and harder to do daily activities like getting out of bed, driving, or going to work. Even writing can seem like a tough task. And in later stages, it can cause dementia.

Even though Parkinson’s can have a big impact on your life, with the right treatment and help from your health care team, you can still enjoy the things you love. It’s important to reach out to family and friends for support. Learning to live with Parkinson’s means making sure you get the backing you need.

Living With Parkinson’s Disease

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As Parkinson’s develops, a person who has it may slow down and won’t be able to move or talk quickly. Sometimes, speech therapy and occupational therapy are needed. This may sound silly, but someone who has Parkinson’s disease may need to learn how to fall down safely.

If getting dressed is hard for a person with Parkinson’s, clothing with Velcro and elastic can be easier to use than buttons and zippers. The person also might need to have railings installed around the house to prevent falls.

If you know someone who has Parkinson’s disease, you can help by being a good friend.

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Trouble Moving Or Walking

People without PD do not think about their walking. Their arms naturally swing, and their feet naturally land on the heels with each step. They can walk and talk and carry bags, purses and plates of food without difficulty.

Individuals with PD tend to lose their automatic movements. Especially as Parkinsons advances, it may bring with it a variety of symptoms that are uncommon in early stages, such as problems with walking and poor balance . Feet begin to shuffle, and performing two tasks at once becomes more difficult. Turning becomes challenging, often leading to a freezing episode and sometimes a fall.

Parkinsons Disease Is a Movement and Sensory Disorder

People with PD have trouble regulating the speed and/or size of their movements. Movements are bradykinetic or hypokinetic .

Changes in the movement system lead to challenges controlling movements, including the following:

  • Starting and stopping movements
  • Linking different movements to accomplish one task
  • Finishing one movement before beginning the next

Changes in the sensory system also lead to challenges, particularly noticing and correcting movement and voice issues, including the following:

  • Slowness or smallness of movements
  • Lack of movement
  • Changes in posture
  • Changes in voice volume

Walking Changes

There are many PD-related walking changes:

Managing Walking Changes

Walking Tips

Turning Tips

Freezing

Managing Freezing

Tips for Care Partners

Freezing is a significant cause of falls.

Sidebar: Ninds Steps Up Pursuit Of Pd Biomarkers

In 2012, the NINDS dramatically accelerated efforts to identify biomarkers by establishing the Parkinsons Disease Biomarkers Program . This unprecedented program unites a range of stakeholders from basic and clinical researchers to healthcare professionals, the NINDS staff, information technology experts, and people living with PD and their families.

PDBP supports research and builds resources aimed at accelerating the discovery of biomarkers to ultimately slow the progression of PD. For example, the program has established a repository of biological specimens and a Data Management Resource system maintained by the NIH Center for Information Technology. The DMR allows researchers to access clinical, imaging, genetic, and biologic data, while a complementary PDBP-supported project develops statistical tools to analyze vast quantities of data so that patterns can be identified across these diverse sources of information.

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