Parkinson’s disease is a condition of the brain that will progressively worsen over a long period of time. The disease comes with a range of different issues, including physical and psychological, this includes depression, having troubles sleeping (otherwise known as insomnia), having trouble remembering things and losing their sense of smell, which is called Anosmia. There are loads of different symptoms that are connected with Parkinson’s disease all of which differ from person to person as well as the severity of each.
Now, its very unlikely for a person suffering with the disease to have many of these symptoms, but they may/will have some of them. Parkinson’s disease is usually found in middle age and elderly people. With Parkinson’s disease there are three main symptoms. These are Uncontrollable shaking, which usually starts in the hand or arm, the likelihood of this happening is when the limb is at rest.
Secondly, another symptom is called Bradykinesia Which is the slowness of movement which makes physical movements slower, making everyday tasks more difficult than usual. The final main sign of the disease is Muscle Stiffness and tension in the muscles. Making it harder to move around and also make facial expressions. This can lead to cramps that are quite painful.
As mentioned before, these symptoms will all differ in severity. There are other symptoms as well as these ones which you can read online if you’re concerned about your health or the health of a loved one.
Roughly 127,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed which is most commonly found in people over 50 but people who are younger can get it too!
A quite recent story about an actor called Michael J Fox Who starred in a popular movie called Back to the Future as Marty Mcfly in 1985 who also has Parkinson’s disease tried on the first pair of “self lacing shoes”. He was diagnosed at the age of just 29 and has been living with it since. The scientific side of Parkinson’s Disease.
The reason people develop this disease is because they haven’t got enough of a chemical called dopamine, this is because certain nerve cells in their brain have died. It’s yet to be proven why these cells actually die. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter which is a chemical substance that will transmit an impulse from one nerve to either nerve, organ, muscle or different tissue. It basically acts as a messenger for the body. Dopamine is also connected with another brain disorder called schizophrenia and ADHD.
Other than helping with the nervous system it is also used in blood vessels, the kidneys, the pancreas, the digestive system and the immune system. Dopamine is created by brain cells called neurons, in the human brain. These types of neurons that create dopamine are more concentrated in a certain part of the brain called the substantia nigra. Which is located roughly in the middle of the brain. The substantia nigra is the part of the brain that plays a role in movement, addiction and reward.
It is the cells in this area of the brain that die which cause a lack of dopamine, which is also why one of the main symptoms is based on movement, stiffness. And why one of the other symptoms is depressions, due to not being able to feel rewarded. Ways to reduce the risk of getting the disease. Due to the cause of Parkinson’s disease being unknown, prevention to the disease will continue to remain a mystery. However, some research has shown that caffeine (found in tea, coke, coffee), Green Tea and Aerobic exercise has been shown to help prevent Parkinson’s disease.
Surprisingly, smoking is also found to help prevent Parkinson’s disease however its not recommended due to the amount of other health issues associated with smoking. Going into detail about the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. As described before, the severeness of Parkinson’s will differ from person to person and doesn’t come in an exact order, they wont get every single one of these symptoms but they may/will get a few of these. Balance issues this is a more serious symptom because they are more likely to have a fall and injure themselves. Nerve pain this can differ from a burning sensation, coldness or numbness. Problems with urination this means having to get up frequently to go to the bathroom or involuntary urination (unintentionally passing urine). Dizziness Blurred Vision or fainting when either moving from a sitting down or lying down position to a standing position. This is caused by a drop in blood pressure.
With Parkinson’s disease there are a few mental symptoms as well as the physical. Here is a small list of some of the symptoms: Depression and Anxiety, having problems sleeping, memory issues and having trouble with something that requires planning. Another mental issue that may arise is Dementia, which is a symptom that is involved with an ongoing decline of the brains abilities slowing down thinking speed and affecting memory, understanding and judgment.
Caring for someone
If you are a carer of someone you will notice as time progresses it will get increasingly more difficult for the patient to do every day tasks, this means he will rely on you more and more as time goes on, the main thing to do is to try and let them be independent and give them time to do their own tasks. Thanks to Parkinson’s sponsor Locksmiths Ealing. When someone is diagnosed it can be especially hard on the emotional side, so you will be there for support and be able to let them rely on you. Another main issue with people having with caring for someone is keeping on top of the medication, this can be a daunting task because you need to take the medication in exactly the right amount at specific times of the day, if you don’t feel comfortable with this contact a GP or a pharmacist who can help guide you through the correct measures and anything else that may be bothering you.
It’s always good to know the early tell-tale signs. Simple due to the fact that should you or someone you know have this illness, the earlier you notice the better the treatment options. It ia a chronic and progressive illness, which is known for the typical symptoms tremors, diminishing motor functions which can often be seen in an effected persons staggered walk and difficulty with balance. Other symptoms also related in its later stages are dementia and depression. The last mentioned is also often found in patients long before they are diagnosed.
Symptoms to look out for if you are in suspicion that you, or someone that is close to you has this illness are tremors, shaking of the hands, arms or legs. This shaking can be isolated to one side of the body or display on both sides. Worsening balance and difficulty walking, Patients often have a staggered walk and a hunched over posture. If there is changes in a person’s tone of voice or handwriting this is also an indication of change in motor functions.
If you notice one or more of the above mentioned symptom in yourself or someone you know, please ensure that you get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. Lastly what is also worth including in this information is that although it is a serious and we do not know the exact cause, nor do we have a cure for it, it’s still something that many live with without major change or disruption to their quality of life. There are of course milder and more severe cases of the illness, however if you catch it early, the chances are better that a treatment which is optimal for the individual in question is found.