Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive neurological disease that affects nerve cells in the area of the brain which produces dopamine, a chemical which transmits signals between areas of the brain. When functioning smoothly they help in coordinating balanced muscle movement. This disease, however, causes neurons to die, leading to a reduction of dopamine in the brain. The basal ganglia are responsible for organizing movement commands from other parts of the brain and this is where the lack of dopamine causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s to occur.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s?
The symptoms of Parkinson’s are varied such as:
- Shaking of hand and foot
- Slow movement
- Stiffness of limbs
- Balance and coordination problems
- Midlife Obesity
- Decreased facial expressions
- Speech changes
- Sleeping problems
Parkinson’s disease diagnosis:
While symptoms can be different for each patient, over 25% of patients are misdiagnosed when it comes to Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s disease diagnosis is difficult. Currently, there are no blood or laboratory tests available to help in Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. A CT and MRI will be used to rule out other disorders that cause similar symptoms. A detailed neurologic history will be taken. This interrogation will include questions about the patient’s symptoms, medications, and exposure to toxins. A doctor may need to observe the patient over time in order to recognize signs of tremor and rigidity. Only then can a doctor be ascertaining of a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
Parkinson’s disease treatment:
Parkinson’s does not have a permanent cure. There are medications and even surgeries to help in Parkinson’s disease treatment.
- There are powerful medications available to reduce the symptoms, one such medication for Parkinson’s disease treatment is levodopa. It is often used to prevent some symptoms of Parkinson’s. Newer medications such as dopamine agonists have shown significantly lower results of dyskinesias (involuntary movement). These drugs take the role of dopamine in the brain and work by stimulating certain parts of the brain and nervous system.
- The second class of medication used for Parkinson’s disease treatment is called COMT inhibitors because they block an enzyme that breaks down levodopa and dopamine.
- Deep brain stimulation:
This is one type of Parkinson’s disease treatment. In this procedure, doctors place a wire deep inside a specific spot in the brain, depending on the symptoms that need treatment.
- Surgeries to place dopamine cells:
In the early stages, yet another form of Parkinson’s disease treatment is to place stem cells that make dopamine into the brain to help treat people with Parkinson’s, instead of gulping medicine.
Some more forms of Parkinson’s disease treatment are to manage the disorders rather than the causes.
Physical therapy can help in Parkinson’s disease treatment as it can help compensate for the changes brought about by the condition. These compensatory treatments include learning about new movement techniques, strategies, and equipment. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and loosen muscles. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your independence and quality of life by improving movement and function and relieving pain.
Physical therapy can help with:
- Balance problems
- Lack of coordination
Occupational therapy can help in Parkinson’s disease treatment by helping the patients lead a socially active life. It provides assessment, treatment, and recommendations in the following areas:
- Arm and hand therapy
- Handwriting aids
- Leisure skill development
- Manual or electric wheelchair use
- Bathtub and toilet equipment use
- Dressing and grooming aids
- Eating and dinnerware adaptations
- Computer modifications
- Cooking and homemaking adaptations
It is very essential to keep up a daily exercise regime and to stay socially active. This may be how one can get better with Parkinson’s disease treatment. For additional information and rehabilitation services explore https://apokosrehab.com/ .
Dr. Anirudh Chirania
Dr. Anirudh Chirania is a Consultant Physiatrist with ApoKOS Rehabilitation Hospital, Hyderabad. He is a specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist for Stroke and Pain Management and has an active experience of over 2 years. He completed his MBBS from IPGMER, Kolkata in 2010, and obtained his DNB (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) from Sambhunath Pandit Hospital, Kolkata in 2015. Dr. Anirudh also holds a fellowship in Pain Management from Aesculap Academy.