PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Description

  • A progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement
  • It causes certain brain cells to die
  • Parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years

Symptoms

Main Symptoms:

  • Tremor (shaking)
  • Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
  • Muscle stiffness (rigidity)

Physical Symptoms:

  • Balance problems
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Nerve pain
  • Problems with urination
  • An inability to obtain or sustain an erection
  • Constipation
  • Excessive sweating
  • Problems sleeping

Cognitive and psychiatric symptoms:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Dementia

Causes

  • Genetics
  • Environmental triggers
  • Medication
  • Other progressive brain conditions
  • Cerebrovascular disease

Risk Factors

  • Age 60 or older
  • Men are more likely to develop than women
  • Hereditary
  • Exposure to toxins

Diagnostic Tests

  • Based on medical history
  • Examination on the basis of symptoms
  • A neurological and physical examination
  • Blood tests to rule out other conditiong
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound of the brain
  • SPECT and PET scans

Treatment

  • No complete cure, symptoms are controlled

Medications:

  • Carbidopa-levodopa
  • Carbidopa-levodopa infusion
  • Dopamine agonists
  • MAO-B inhibitors
  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors
  • Anticholinergics
  • Amantadine

Surgical Procedures:

  • Deep Brain Stimulation

Therapies:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Dietary Changes

Medications

  • Carbidopa (Rytary, Sinemet)
  • Pramipexole (Mirapex)
  • Ropinirole (Requip)
  • Rotigotine (given as a patch, Neupro)
  • Apomorphine (Apokyn)
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar)
  • Rasagiline (Azilect)
  • Entacapone (Comtan)
  • Benztropine (Cogentin)

Prevention

  • Since exact cause is unknown, there are no preventive measures
  • Caffeine reduces the risk
  • Aerobic exercises also reduce the risk
  • Green tea may also reduce the risk of developing the disease

Lifestyle Management

  • Stay healthy by eating nutritious foods and not smoking.
  • Make changes in the diet if you have swallowing problems
  • Use speech therapy
  • Stay active as much as possible
  • Do not overdo it when the energy is low
  • Use physical therapy and occupational therapy to stay independent
  • Use assistive devices, when needed, to make movement easier
  • Talk to a social worker or other counseling service
  • Exercise regularly