Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that damages the central nervous system, affecting motion and causing involuntary movement throughout the body. It is triggered when nerve cells are damaged, producing low dopamine levels and thus the disease itself.
The more the disease progresses, the disability increases, making daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and even grabbing things difficult or impossible.
An estimated 6.3 million people of all races and cultures worldwide have Parkinson’s disease. According to available statistics.
Some studies suggest the disease could be genetic; however, there is not enough information about it.
First signs can go unnoticed. They usually start on one side of the body and progressively begin to affect the other side of the body as well. Usually, symptoms worsen on the first side that gets affected.
The most common symptoms are:
Tremors in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face. It usually starts on the fingers, hands, and feet. They occur even when your extremities are in a resting position. It can develop into severe involuntary shaking of the arms or legs, head, or entire body.
Stiffness in the arms, legs, and trunk. The muscles then tighten and contract, generating pain in the muscles and limiting movement, resulting in a slow range of movement and bad posture
Alteration of posture and balance. Posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
Loss of other conscious movements. The person may unconsciously make movements such as, smiling, swinging arms or legs while walking, and blinking rapidly and too often.
Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Nevertheless, there are several treatments and medications to treat motor symptoms. Unfortunately, the drugs can be useful in the early stages, but it loses effectiveness over time.
Supportive Therapies. Doctors recommend supportive therapies and changes in lifestyle to make days easier. These therapies are:
Speech and language therapy
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) might be the solution when medication is not working. DBS consists of electrical impulses sent to specific areas of the brain that are responsible for controlling movement.
Yes! Because of the impairments in the advanced stages of the disease, a skilled nurse can help the patient with daily activities. It is highly recommended to have home nursing even if the patient counts on a family member that takes care of them.
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