Parkinson’s: symptoms, treatments, and information

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative disorder that occurs in one area of ​​the brain. This part is the one that controls the body’s motor system, manifesting itself with a progressive loss of movements. This usually occurs when nerve cells deteriorate or die, leaving the individual almost immobile.

There are some special characteristics that indicate the onset of the disease, such as slow movements, muscle stiffness or tremors. This disease is a pathology that affects more than two hundred thousand people, just to name the data corresponding to Spain.

What causes Parkinson’s

Until now, the origin of Parkinson’s is unknown, except for certain cases that are products of drug addiction, medications or trauma. As well as, it occurs in people who inherit this type of disease from their ancestors. Many hypotheses have been studied that attempt to explain the neurological damage caused by this condition. In some cases, it is attributed to toxins or pesticides, in conjunction with other genetic predispositions.

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On the other hand, they have also experienced the possibility that it originates from free radicals. Which could trigger a certain oxidation process that damages neurons and tissues. The disease produces irreparable loss of the basal ganglia. Which causes an interference in the connections with other muscles and nerve cells.

Likewise, they also infer the loss of dopamine. However, it is not yet possible to know with certainty the causes that cause this degeneration. Regarding the genetic factor, it does not play an important element, even though this disease could affect entire families.

Parkinson’s symptoms

The symptoms of the condition, in the first instance, is mild. However, it gets stronger and stronger as the days go by. When the process starts, the patient usually experiences difficulty moving, joint pain, and exhaustion. In the case of writing, it also begins to change and appears irregular and somewhat tiny.

Most Parkinson’s patients begin with discomfort in only one area of ​​the body and then increase. In addition, their character varies so it is common for them to feel depression and irritability, without any triggering reason. These symptoms are just the beginning before the classic signs of the disease begin, such as:

  • Rigidity.
  • Tremors
  • Bradykinesia
  • Depressions
  • Instability.
  • Urinary difficulties.
  • Chewing and swallowing problem.
  • Constipation.
  • Akinesia
  • Sleep disorder
  • Loss of expressiveness.
  • Increase or loss of body weight.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosing this disease at an early stage is somewhat complicated. Because the symptoms tend to be confused with those presented in other types of pathologies. In fact, in the latest studies carried out by the SEN, Parkinson’s diagnoses usually take a maximum of 3 years. Consequently, it is believed that 25% of these patients actually have another type of disease.

Today, people diagnosed with the condition are older than sixty-five years. However, this does not mean that it is a pathology that only affects old age. There is a history of patients who have been proven the disease before reaching the age of 50. Therefore, it is essential to study each case in detail, since there is still no chemical marker to determine it.

In order to verify the diagnosis, a Computed axial tomography. This examination is responsible for the arrest of brain damage at the level of the midbrain. In addition, it is also very common to perform routine examinations to show the patient’s reflexes. The best way to detect the pathology is undoubtedly observation, exercised by family members and specialists.

What treatments are there?

It is a disease, which to date has no cure. However, there are treatments that reduce the progression of the disease. Likewise, they are ideal to avoid side effects, product of drugs and greater control of symptoms. In the case of dopamine, it cannot be administered directly.

For all these reasons, ideal drugs have been developed to promote the normal production of this substance. As well as, they serve to delay deterioration and are given depending on the progression of symptoms. Therefore, if the signs are mild, drugs with less potency are used, such as anticholinergics. In more severe or severe cases, levodopa is given, which is a more powerful and aggressive drug.

Surgeries for Parkinson’s

Surgical treatments are available that act on the damaged area of ​​the brain. Nevertheless, it is only recommended to 5% of patients and it will be effective if they belong to this group. People with severe functional disabilities are not suitable for surgical intervention. As well as, those who have a diagnosis of dementia, adults over 70 years of age, among others.

Among the techniques used in Parkinson’s surgery is lto electrical stimulation and pallidotomy. Both procedures are effective and their choice will depend on the clinical dependence of the patient. The beneficiaries of this type of intervention are people with dyskinesias caused by medication or progressive diseases.

Tips for Coping with Parkinson’s

To improve the quality of life, it is recommended to take into account some basic functions that will facilitate daily life.

Prevent falls

Osteoporosis or lack of muscle control affects older people most of the time. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid accidents that can cause irreparable bone breakage. To take care of yourself, it is important that you remove objects that may obstruct the patient’s path. For example: steps, rugs, sofas, tables, among others. Likewise, it is also advisable to install handles on walls that are close to the door handles.

Feeding

For people who suffer from this condition, the moment of eating is a trauma. Because just putting food in your mouth to chew it takes twice as long as a normal person. Added to this is added, it makes it difficult to swallow vegetables or meats and the use of cutlery.

Clothing

When getting dressed, buttons represent an obstacle, so it is recommended that they be replaced by zippers. In the case of lace-up shoes, it is better to change them for elastic bands that are easy to remove and hold on to the feet.

Find out all about Alzheimer’s here.

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