Parkinson's is a common neurological disease that causes stiffness, shaking, difficulty with coordination, and slurred speech. People with Parkinson's experience symptoms in their early years. These symptoms usually start slowly and develop progressively as the disease advances.
Patients with Parkinson often have problems with both motor and cognitive skills. In some cases, patients may also have difficulty speaking and walking. When this disease attacks the nervous system, it can affect all areas of the body, including the muscles, bones, and organs. It is very common for Parkinson patients to be confined to wheelchairs because of the severe limitation they face.
Symptoms of Parkinson's may vary depending on the patient. For instance, the symptoms of Parkinson's may include trembling, twitching, slowing of movement, and muscle spasms. Other signs of Parkinson's include slowed movement of the hand and stiffening of the muscles around the wrist and hand. Muscle rigidity may also occur.
Although this disease affects both genders equally, men are more likely to develop Parkinson's. The symptoms of Parkinson's can occur almost immediately, but symptoms may not be apparent until the late stages of the disease. In severe cases, a patient may not be able to perform everyday activities like dressing, bathing, or even moving around properly. Some patients who have advanced Parkinson's may be able to use their hands and legs after the onset of symptoms.
Since Parkinson is a progressive disease, it is important for sufferers to continue treatment despite their physical limitations. However, most doctors believe that early diagnosis can reduce the amount of time a patient has to live with the condition. Most patients diagnosed with Parkinson can live a relatively normal life with proper care, if diagnosed early enough.
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of Parkinson, your doctor's visit should include a physical exam to rule out other health conditions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are often used to help rule out tumors in the brain and spinal cord. Once the MRI scan is negative, your doctor will then run tests to confirm your diagnosis. Since there are several types of Parkinson, your doctor will likely order additional tests to rule out other conditions like Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
The physical exam will include brain blood tests to determine if you have any neurological damage
This physical examination will give your doctor a better chance of detecting the earliest Parkinson's symptoms. It will also help determine how the disease is progressing. In general, your doctor will use a checklist to assess your daily activities and symptoms to make sure your symptoms are not interfering with your daily activities.
When your doctor starts treatment, he or she may recommend that you maintain regular physical activity in addition to your medications. You should also take steps to control stress and lose weight to prevent further complications. Your doctor may also recommend exercises to improve your mental and physical performance.
For Parkinson's disease, medications are usually prescribed. Common medications used to treat this condition include dopamine agonists such as levodopa, which lower dopamine levels in your brain, and dopamine itself, which is the main neurotransmitter in your brain responsible for movement. Certain medications used to treat Parkinson's symptoms can also help prevent further loss of brain cells. Non-dopaminergic drugs include beta blockers and antipsychotic drugs.
Because drugs can be habit-forming, it is important to start slowly with anti-dopaminergic drugs such as a dopamine agonist, which should be taken for several weeks before starting a course of anti-Parkinsonian drugs. The dose and frequency of this medication will depend on the advice of your doctor. You should also inform your doctor about your medication regimen so that you can regularly monitor your progress and adjust your dose as needed. If your doctor decides that you need a higher dose of antiparkinsonian medication, discuss it with him or her first.
There are non-dopamine drugs available as well, but these can have unpleasant side effects and require prolonged treatment. In most cases, neuroleptic drugs are used to treat Parkinson's patients who may not respond well to dopamine agonists. Antipsychotic drugs have fewer side effects than their dopamine agonist cousins, but they can be addictive. If you are taking anti-parkinsonics, it is especially important to ask your doctor whether or not you should be taking other medications, such as blood thinners and certain types of antidepressants.
Your doctor may suggest an exercise regimen along with the proper medication to help improve your ability to manage your condition. A number of exercises are beneficial in increasing balance, strength and coordination, so it is important to find a regimen that works best for you and your particular case.