Parkinson’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Medication
June 11, 2022 | by Yashaswi Pathakamuri | Posted in Diseases
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes the sufferer to experience shaking or trembling in their limbs, rigidity or stiffness in their muscles, and difficulty with walking.
There are two main types of Parkinson’s disease: 1) sporadic, which accounts for 80% of cases, and 2) familial, which accounts for 20% of cases.
The first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are often subtle and may include a slight tremor in one hand when the person is not doing anything. It can be difficult to diagnose Parkinson’s disease because it shares many of the same symptoms as other conditions such as essential tremor, dystonia, and even senile dementia.
Although Parkinson’s disease usually does not develop in people younger than 50, about 5% to 10% of those diagnosed with the illness first show symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40. Early onset forms of Parkinson’s disease can either be inherited or linked to specific gene mutations.
This article explores about what is Parkinson’s disease, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and medication.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and the nervous system. It is a progressive condition that worsens over time. There are many causes of Parkinson’s disease, but most cases are idiopathic or have unknown causes.
There are three main categories of Parkinson’s disease: idiopathic, genetic, and symptomatic. Idiopathic means that there is no known cause for the condition. Genetic refers to those who inherit it from their parents. And symptomatic means that the person has another illness or injury which caused it to develop.
Parkinson’s disease can have devastating effects on people’s lives. The severity of these effects varies from person to person but they typically include depression and anxiety, memory problems, difficulty concentrating on tasks or thinking clearly, sleep disturbances (including insomnia), constipation or diarrhea due to slowed intestinal activity.
Parkinson’s disease is an incurable condition, but there are treatments available to manage its symptoms and improve quality of life for those living with it.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, a chemical messenger that helps control muscle activity. Other possible causes are environmental toxins, genetics, head trauma, and use of certain medications.
Parkinson’s Disease is characterized by tremors, slow movements, difficulty in walking and talking. The disease starts with a lack of dopamine in the brain which causes the symptoms mentioned above.
A person may have Parkinson’s Disease if they have symptoms described earlier or if they are over 60 years old and show signs of dementia.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain.
The four major motor problems seen are:
- Tremors: Tremor is the most common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. These are involuntary repetitive movements that can affect any part of the body and may be present at rest or when you move.
- Slowness: Slowness in movement is another common symptom of Parkinson’s disease which can also include a shuffling gait, slowed speech and facial expressions, and decreased arm swing when walking.
- Stiffness: Stiffness in muscles is another common symptom which can make your joints feel tight and stiff or rigid to the touch.
- Impaired balance: Balance impairment is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease which can make walking and standing difficult to manage.
Other symptoms include:
- Impaired motor coordination: This is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease and can be more noticeable with smaller muscle movements.
- Decreased facial expression: Facial expression impairment is another common symptom of Parkinson’s disease that makes it hard for the person to show emotions in a genuine way.
- Loss of fine motor skills: Fine motor skills are impaired by the disease and include things like writing, typing, or playing an instrument.
- Poor posture: Poor posture is often seen in patients with Parkinson’s disease because they have a hard time balancing their weight and holding themselves up on one leg.
- Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath is a common complaint in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Some patients may have trouble breathing because of a decrease in the ability to exhale or an increase in airway resistance.
- Dry mouth: Dry mouth (hypo-salivation) is another common complaint among people with Parkinson’s disease.
- Dry lips: People with Parkinson’s disease often complain of dry lips and other skin changes due to reduced lip lubrication.
Other associated symptoms may include:
- Rigidity of the limbs
- Speech problems such as slurred speech or difficulty swallowing
- shuffling gait (bradykinesia)
- Involuntary movements of the eyes- It may be difficult to find words at times
- Depression and other emotional changes
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, and speaking
- Urinary problems or constipation
- Skin problems
In later stages, people with Parkinson’s disease may experience rapid and uncontrolled movements of their arms and legs, known as dyskinesia. Movement problems can worsen over time, causing an increased need for caregiving. Stiffness or rigidity in one part of the body (monoplegia) is often followed by a sensation of restlessness or clumsiness or unsteadiness in another part of the body, such as a loss of balance and an increased need for support (dysequilibrium).
Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It is characterized by tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia. Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed based on a combination of symptoms and medical history.
It is difficult to diagnose Parkinson’s disease because there are no specific biomarkers for it. The diagnosis is based on the symptoms and results of a physical examination.
The patient needs to be examined by a neurologist who will try to identify any signs of Parkinson’s disease by examining the patient’s movements, muscle tone, reflexes and posture.
The doctor may also order imaging tests such as an MRI or PET scan in order to rule out other causes for the symptoms. A dopamine transporter (DAT) scan may also be used. While these tests do not confirm Parkinson’s, they can help rule out other conditions and support the doctor’s diagnosis.
Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease
Treatments for Parkinson’s disease are in different stages of research and development. Some of them are still in trials and others are already approved for use. The most common treatment for Parkinson’s disease is Levodopa (L-dopa).
Treatment for Parkinson’s relies on a combination of:
- Lifestyle changes
Here are some ways to improve communication: adequate rest, exercise, and a balanced diet. Some people may need speech therapy and occupational therapy in addition to physical therapy, depending on their condition.
In almost all cases, medication will be required to help manage the various physical and mental health symptoms associated with the disease.
Drugs and Medication to Treat Parkinson’s Disease
Medication is generally used as a first-line treatment for managing common physical and mental health symptoms that may manifest themselves as side effects of this condition. Medications are also often prescribed to help patients deal with more severe symptoms, such as pain or depression.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the motor skills of the body. Levodopa is the most common treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Levodopa is a chemical precursor to dopamine, which can be converted into dopamine in the brain. It is used to treat Parkinson’s disease by replacing dopamine in parts of the brain where it cannot be made.
Levodopa is a drug that is used to treat Parkinson’s disease. It has been around for more than 50 years and it has helped millions of people live better lives. Levodopa works by restoring the levels of dopamine in the brain, which are depleted in people with Parkinson’s disease.
The way it works is by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain, which helps with movement and mood. Levodopa also helps with involuntary movements like tremors and stiffness, as well as speech problems like dysarthria or drooling.
It works by restoring the balance of dopamine in the brain and it can be taken as pills or through an injection. The first dose of levodopa should be taken as soon as possible after symptoms begin, and at regular intervals thereafter, for best results.
The side effects of Levodopa include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, hallucinations and headaches.
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder that mainly affects the patients’ motor skills. It is a chronic disease and there is no cure for it. The current treatment for Parkinson’s disease are drugs that inhibit dopamine production, which can be harmful to patients in the long run.
Dopamine agonists work by stimulating dopamine receptors to produce dopamine in the body, which helps with movement and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This treatment has shown promising results in clinical trials and can be used as an alternative to drugs that inhibit dopamine production.
Some of the side effects of these drugs are nausea, dizziness, constipation and vomiting. These side effects occur due to increased activity of dopaminergic neurons in the brain which also causes nausea or constipation for example.
Amantadine is a drug that has been used to treat Parkinson’s disease. It is believed to work by increasing dopamine levels in the brain.
The first use of amantadine was with the treatment of influenza in 1959. The drug was approved for use in Parkinson’s disease in 1978.
Amantadine works by blocking viral protein synthesis inside cells, which can prevent certain viruses from replicating themselves and spreading.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved amantadine for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease only when other drugs are not effective or tolerated.
Anticholinergics are drugs which block the action of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. They are used to treat Parkinson’s disease and other conditions.
The use of anticholinergics to treat Parkinson’s disease has been controversial because they have many side-effects and can worsen symptoms for some patients.
It should be used with caution in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease because they may cause worsening of these conditions.
MAO-B inhibitors are a new class of drugs that have been shown to be more effective than Levodopa for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
The MAO-B inhibitors inhibit the activity of MAO-B, an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain. This helps to increase dopamine levels in the brain, which relieves symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
The MAO-B inhibitors are also known as selegiline or rasagiline and they work by inhibiting an enzyme called monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B).
COMT inhibitors are a type of medication that can help treat Parkinson’s disease, which is a neurological disorder.
COMT is an enzyme that breaks down dopamine in the brain. It converts it into 3-O-methyldopa (3OMD). A COMT inhibitor prevents this conversion and allows dopamine to accumulate in the brain.
COMT inhibitors are most effective when they are taken before the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease start to show. They can also be used when the person has already started taking levodopa and their symptoms have not improved.
The amount of medication required to manage Parkinson’s symptoms can change over time. In late stage Parkinson’s, the dose may be less effective and have a greater number of side effects, but they may still provide enough relief.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder that affects motor skills and speech. It is caused by the death of neurons in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease usually start with a small tremor in one hand. The tremors then spread to other parts of the body and become more noticeable. Other symptoms include slowness of movement, rigid muscles, balance issues, and problems with speech.
The main cause of Parkinson’s disease is not known but it is believed that environmental factors such as toxins or genetics may play a role in the development of the condition. There are also some medical treatments available for Parkinson’s disease including medications and surgery.
Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s or if you have been diagnosed and are looking for new ways to manage the condition.
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