Whatsapp Facebook Youtube Instagram

What is Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that leads to shaking, muscle stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. The reason why it develops is not known, but experts believe that genetic changes and exposure to environmental factors such as toxins play a key role in the development of the disease.

What are the early signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease?

The signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease might vary from person to person. They often start from one side of the body and usually remain worse on that side, even after the symptoms have started affecting another side.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tremor
  • Bradykinesia (makes your movement slow)
  • Rigid muscles
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Loss of automatic movements like blinking eyes, moving hands while walking, smiling
  • Speech changes
  • Writing changes

What are the causes of Parkinson's disease?

It is caused when certain nerve cells(neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many symptoms occur when there is a loss of cells (neurons) that produce a chemical in the brain called dopamine. When dopamine level decreases, it affects the operation of another area of the brain called the basal ganglia. This part of the brain is responsible for organizing the brain’s signals for body movement. The loss of dopamine causes abnormal brain activity, movement symptoms that are seen in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Can stress cause Parkinson's disease?

Studies have suggested that stressful life events may increase the risk of the disease as stress can damage dopamine cells that result in severe Parkinson's symptoms.

What factors may increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease?

Several factors may increase the risk such as:

  • Past traumatic brain injury
  • Heredity
  • Exposure to toxins
  • The risk increases with age, usually around age 60 or older.

What are the additional complications of Parkinson's disease?

  • Thinking difficulties
  • Depression
  • Swallowing problems
  • Sleep disorders
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation
  • Blood pressure

How does Parkinson's disease diagnose?

There is no specific blood or laboratory tests for diagnosing Parkinson's disease. Imaging tests like CT scans or MRI scans may be used to rule out other disorders that may cause similar symptoms.

The doctor will ask for the medical history, family history of neurologic disorders and your present symptoms, medications, and if any exposure to toxins. The doctor will check for the signs of tremor and muscle rigidity, allow you to walk, check your posture and coordination and check the slowness of the body movement.

What is the treatment for Parkinson's disease?

There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but certain treatments such as supportive therapies, lifestyle changes, and medication are available to help relieve the symptoms and maintain quality of life.

Proper rest, exercise, and a balanced diet can help with Parkinson's symptoms.

In addition to this, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy would help with walking and balance problems, eating and swallowing issues, and speech problems.

What medications are used to treat Parkinson's disease?

Experts have developed new drugs that made a big difference in everyday life for people with this disease. Many get relief from the symptoms with these medications. But some might need surgery if the medications are not enough or stop working for their symptoms.

The medications combat Parkinson's disease:

  • By helping nerve cells in the brain make dopamine
  • By imitating the effects of dopamine in the brain.
  • By blocking an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain.
  • By reducing some symptoms of the disease.

Medicines given for Parkinson's disease are

  • Levodopa- is the most common medicine. It helps replenish dopamine.
  • Dopamine agonists- these medicines can imitate the action of dopamine in the brain. They are less effective than levodopa.
  • Anticholinergics- this is used to block the parasympathetic nervous system, and help with rigidity.
  • Mao-B inhibitors- these drugs block the chemicals that break down dopamine in the brain.
  • COMT inhibitors- these inhibitors prolong the effect of levodopa.
  • Amantadine- is used in reducing the involuntary movements(dyskinesia) caused by levodopa medication.

Surgical treatments options for Parkinson's disease:

  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Carbidopa- levodopa infusion
  • Pallidotomy
  • Thalamotomy

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Address: Rao Saheb, Achutrao Patwardhan Marg, Four Bungalows, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Phone: +91-98 88 66 22 00

Connect With Us