Parkinson’s disease is a disease that affects the nervous system.It can cause muscle tremor, stiffness and slow movement, and the condition becomes worse.
Causes of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease reduces the production of a substance called dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that transmits information inside the brain and from the brain to the muscles. The problem part of the brain is called “substantia nigra”, which coordinates muscle activity.
The cause of Parkinson’s is unknown, but according to scientist studies of identical twins, genetic genes may be one of the causes of Parkinson’s disease. Patients with generalized brain disease also have symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. Early brain damage is also a cause of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is not contagious.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- Tremor — this is the first manifestation of the disease in most patients with Parkinson’s disease.The tremor usually begins with the arm and then extends to the face, jaw, and legs.
- Stiffness — makes the patient’s limbs powerless and has difficulty moving. This can be intermittent or persistent. Patients with advanced stage are more likely to develop quadriplegic.
- Slow Movement — Patients with Parkinson’s disease usually present with slow movement or movement difficulties. They begin to walk with hesitation, dragging their footsteps and sagging hands without swinging.
The following symptoms appear when the condition worsens:
- Difficulty in maintaining posture and balance — Patients with Parkinson’s disease usually hunched, leaning forward, and sideways when sitting.
- Intestinal and bladder problems — Constipation is very common and may also occur with frequent urination.
- Transformation of sound lines — The voice lines become weak, weak muscles responsible for controlling swallowing, or can lead to salivation.
- Lack of facial expressions – Decreased ability to show facial expressions, as if they were wearing a mask; the number of blinks and smiles are also reduced.
- Writing difficulties – common and worsening.
- Anxiety and depression — this is the case in about one third of patients.
- Intellectual problems — end-stage patients may become stunted thinking and memory loss.
Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease
There is still no blood test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.Diagnosis is usually based on clinical symptoms and is made after the exclusion of other possible diseases.CT scan helps diagnose most brain attacks.Parkinson’s disease can be identified if the treatment for this is effective in alleviating the patient’s symptoms.
Some drugs, such as antisinetic drugs and psychotropic drugs, can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s, and in this case, changing to another drug should alleviate the symptoms.
Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
The main purpose of drug therapy is to restore the level of dopamine in the brain and to control the condition: The drugs are divided into six groups:
- Alternatives to dopamine
This is the most commonly used therapy. These include levodopa (which decompose and form dopamine in the body) and another chemical that ensures moderate levels of dopamine in the brain. This group is effective in treating symptoms, but has some side effects such as nausea, dizziness and constipation. In addition, other long-term physiological problems, such as inadvertent movement of the face and limbs, referred to as “motor disorders”, may also diminish the efficacy of the drug over time.
- Drugs that simulate the effect of dopamine, such as bromocriptine.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease may delay long-term physiological problems caused by alternatives to dopamine. Side effects of these drugs include nausea and hallucinations.
- Drugs that prevent the action of acetylcholine, such as benzhexol.
Benhezol helps to correct the balance of dopamine and acetylcholine, another substance in the brain.Side effects include dry mouth and blurred sight.Patients over 70 years of age should not take this as memory loss and urine retention in men may occur.
- Drugs that prevent dopamine decomposition, such as selegiline.
They can also be used as mild antidepressants. Their main side effects include hypotension and arrhythmia.
Acting similar to dopamine substitutes, but reacts on different receptors. When taking a large amount of amantadine (Amantadine), the user might experience drowsiness.
- COMT (catechol O-methyl transferase) inhibitors
This is a new drug that prevents dopamine from decomposition and is often used when dopamine substitutes begin to lose their efficacy.It can affect liver function, so patients need a blood test within a few months of use.Surgery Surgical treatment is used only when medication is ineffective. Guided by X-ray (stereotactic surgery), electrodes are inserted into the brain to destroy cells responsible for tremor and abnormal movements.Intrabrain stimulators can also produce the same effect as stereotactic surgery, without destroying brain cells.Radiation Surgery is an allnex technology. Currently, only a few specialist centres offer this service.During the procedure, high-energy radiation is projected very accurately at the specified position in the brain.Currently, new therapies that transplant fetal brain stem cells to affected areas of the brain are in the experimental phase.
Other treatments for Parkinson’s Disease
Other therapies that play an important role in the treatment of Parkinson’s include physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.Maintaining activity helps maintain normal muscle tone and function, so your doctor or physiotherapist will recommend proper exercise and activity.
Living with Parkinson’s Disease
Although this disease is troubling, patients can still live positive lives as usual.The symptoms of most patients are usually limited to mild tremors; however, some patients may become debilitated, affecting daily living life and need help from others.