Whether you read about it in a book or heard about the disease after a celebrity was diagnosed with it, Parkinson's is a real condition that affects many people each day. As a matter of fact, nearly one million people will be living with Parkinson's disease by 2020. Because of its prominence and how it can affect your everyday life, understanding the disease is imperative. This guide will give you a few essential facts to know about Parkinson's disease.
One of the first facts you should know is that the causes of Parkinson's disease are difficult to determine.
Many medical professionals believe Parkinson's disease could be caused by a variety of environmental or genetic factors. In some patients, both environmental and genetic factors may be to blame.
Also, a loss of dopamine may be to blame for the development of Parkinson's disease. Dopamine is a chemical that helps the brain control movement. If the cells that produce dopamine are damaged, you have a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
Most people associate Parkinson's disease with tremors or the light, constant shaking of the hands or other parts of the body. While surprising to learn, tremors are not the only symptoms of Parkinson's disease. In addition, some patients may not even experience tremors until later in the disease's progression.
Slower movement in general may also be a symptom of Parkinson's disease, especially if it has recently become a problem. Other symptoms of the disease include the following:
- Tight, stiff, rigid muscles
- Decreased balance
- Improper posture
- Difficulty making unconscious movements (blinking, smiling, swinging arms)
- Speaking difficulty
- Difficulty writing
If you or a loved one are showing any of the above symptoms, it does not necessarily mean a Parkinson's diagnosis. However, a full evaluation by medical professionals should occur.
Although there is no cure for Parkinson's, slowing down the progression of the disease is possible. With various treatments and therapies, you can still live a normal life even after a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
Different medications can be prescribed to slow down involuntary movements, reducing the tremors related to Parkinson's disease. Other medications can be taken to increase the production of dopamine, helping your body's nervous system control movements in a more effective manner.
Parkinson's Physical therapy is also recommended to patients with Parkinson's disease who struggle moving because of balance issues and muscle stiffness.
It is important to note that each patient is different, so your specific case may be different from other patients with the disease. Contact your doctor to learn more about which treatments are best for your needs.Share