Parkinson’s disease is a neurological illness that makes it difficult for you to walk, activities of daily living slower overtime. It generally starts out slowly and becomes worse overtime.
In the initial stages, Parkinson’s disease leaves its patients with little or no facial expression. Arms become unable to swing while walking. Speech becomes slurred or soft.
While this disease can’t be treated, medications can help improve the symptoms.
Medical management of Parkinson’s Disease aims to offer better control of symptoms while minimizing the adverse effects.
As we celebrate this World Parkinson’s Day, we at Neotia strive to promote its awareness throughout the world.
In this article, we shall explore various ways by which Parkinson’s Disease can be effectively managed to keep the relevant complications in control.
But before that, something about Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s disease symptoms are different for everyone. Early symptoms may be mild and go overlooked. Common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
1. Slowed movement
2. Rest Tremors
4. Postural Instability
Parkinson’s disease happens when neurons (nerve cells) in a specific area of the brain die. These cells are meant to produce dopamine. When the cells get impaired, there is a loss of dopamine that showcases symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
The definite reasons for what causes the loss of such neurotransmitters are still unknown, but several factors are known to trigger Parkinson’s disease.
1. Age: The risk of Parkinson’s disease increases with age, and is highest around 60 or older.
2. Genes: Certain gene variations have been found to augment the odds of Parkinson’s disease. However, these are uncommon instances except in cases where many family members have suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
3. Sex: The risk for Parkinson’s disease is higher in men as compared to women.
4. Exposure to pollutants: Consistent exposure to toxins can boost the risks of Parkinson’s disease.
There are several difficulties that an individual suffering from Parkinson’s disease may experience.
Have a look at them below:
Tendency to fall causing Trauma & Fracture
1. Eating issues: Parkinson’s disease, especially in the late stage, can impact the muscles in your mouth, making chewing extremely difficult. This can cause poor nutrition and even choking.
Salvia can also accumulate in your mouth, causing drooling.
2. Depression: One may suffer from depression even in the early stages. Undergoing treatment for depression can help to tackle other problems of Parkinson’s disease.
Various emotional changes, such as fear, anxiety, etc. may also be experienced.
3. Difficulty in thinking: Cognitive problems (dementia) and thinking issues may be experienced by a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
4. Fatigue: Many people lose energy and experience fatigue more than usual, mostly in the latter part of the day.
5. Blood pressure variations: Due to a sudden drop in blood pressure, you may experience dizziness or faint when you stand up.
6. Sleep disorders: Sleep problems such as waking up frequently throughout the night or falling asleep during the day are experienced by people having Parkinson’s disease.
Rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder, which involves acting out your dreams, may also occur.
7. Bladder problems: These include being unable to control urine or having difficulty urinating.
How to ease Parkinson’s disease symptoms?
With healthy lifestyle changes, you can easily reduce the Parkinson’s disease symptoms and live a much more comfortable life.
Here are a few lifestyle changes you can follow:
1. Maintain balance and prevent falls: To prevent frequent falls, you can do many things, the 2 most important being:
1. Ensure your all medications are on time and optimal
2. Consult with a physical therapist who can help you in walking and balancing
2. Exercise: Exercising regularly helps to improve muscle strength, coordination and flexibility. It can help enhance memory power, lower stress levels, and reduce the risks of falls.
3. Consume a nutritious diet: Not only does healthy food helps to boost your overall health, but it also eases some of the non-movement relevant symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Intake of high fibre food items can especially help to lower constipation.
4. Yoga: Yoga is known to improve flexibility and balance, and can have the same impact on people with Parkinson’s disease.
It can also help you have a sound sleep and improve your mood.
5. Movement therapies: As Parkinson’s disease affects balance and causes weakening of motor skills, a few movement therapies can help to relieve those effects.
Make sure you check out with your doctor before embarking on any exercise/massage therapy.
While treatment for Parkinson’s disease is not available (at present), medications can help to relieve you of the Parkinson’s symptoms.
Medications combat Parkinson’s disease by:
1. Assisting nerve cells of the brain to produce dopamine.
2. Hindering an enzyme that causes breaks down of dopamine.
3. Mirroring the impacts of dopamine in the brain.
4. Minimising the effects of a few symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
A few medications that could be prescribed by your doctor are:
1. Levodopa: It is the main treatment for slower movement, tremors and symptoms associated with Parkinson’s treatment. Nerve cells use this medicine to produce dopamine.
2. MAO B inhibitors: They are useful in preventing the breakdown of dopamine as they inhibit the brain enzyme monoamine oxidase B (MAO B).
MAO B inhibitors are not used with antidepressants or certain narcotics because of severe complications.
3. Dopamine agonists: These medicines can mimic the impacts of dopamine in your brain. The doctor might prescribe these medications first and then include levodopa if your symptoms are not well controlled (Based on the severity of your symptoms and your age).
4. Amantadine: These drugs may be prescribed alone to provide short-term relief of symptoms of early-stage Parkinson’s disease.
It is useful in lowering the involuntary movements caused by levodopa medication.
5. Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors: These medicines are taken with levodopa and can reduce your body’s ability to slow down the effects of levodopa, so it lasts longer and is more dependable.
They slightly extend the effect of levodopa therapy by blocking an enzyme that breaks down dopamine.
Spending your day to day life with any chronic illness can be overwhelming. Parkinson’s disease, in particular, can be extremely frustrating, as talking, walking and even eating become time-consuming and challenging.
While Parkinson’s disease can’t be treated, a team of experts can work together to better manage your condition.
Doctors at Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre are well trained in nervous system conditions (neurologists) and brain and nervous system surgery (neurosurgeons). They work together to determine the best treatment/medication possible for your condition.
To book your appointment, click here.
Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out.
It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.