Parkinson’s disease is a disease in which brain cells are affected, which leads to movement disorders in the body – weak motor activity, uncontrolled muscle movements, as well as decreased mental abilities and depression.
The disease progresses when dopamine-producing neurons in the body die. They are responsible for the coordination of movements of the brain. As a result, the patient’s movements become uncontrollable, a tremor appears in the limbs, he becomes depressed, unbalanced and withdraws into himself.
Symptoms of the disease
You can identify a possible disease by the following signs:
- tremor of one or two hands, head, tongue, lower jaw in a calm state; the symptom manifests itself weaker when performing activities that require concentration and fine motor skills;
- constrained and slow movements;
- shuffling gait;
- the appearance of a “mask effect” on the face, frozen facial expressions;
- problems with speech, monotonous intonation;
- muscle tension at rest;
- increased oily skin, salivation and sweating;
- decrease or complete loss of smell;
- inability to control body movements.
Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s disease
Doctors share these two concepts. How is Parkinson’s disease different from parkinsonism? Parkinsonism is a general term for a neurological syndrome characterized by the symptoms listed above. Parkinson’s disease is a special case of parkinsonism and is also called primary or idiopathic parkinsonism. This type is the most common.
Other types of parkinsonism can manifest themselves only in part of the described symptoms and be the result of injuries, strokes, disorders of the central nervous system – both in the elderly and in young people.
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Reasons for the development of the disease
Unfortunately, science is still not able to accurately name the causes of this disease. We can only talk about a number of factors that can aggravate human health and contribute to the development of the disease, for example:
- genetic factor – the likelihood of getting sick increases if there were or are cases of parkinsonism in the family;
- poor environmental situation;
- complications after encephalitis, brain tumors, stroke, traumatic brain injury;
- cases of poisoning with toxic substances (carbon monoxide, ethanol and others);
- taking drugs;
- exposure to certain drugs, such as neuroleptics.
Diagnosis of the disease
Determining Parkinson’s disease is not an easy task, because neither the tomogram nor the analyzes will show violations that would indicate the development of the disease. Sometimes it can be confused with other types of parkinsonism that have developed under the influence of the above reasons. Therefore, the most effective diagnostic method includes a thorough examination by a neurologist, an analysis of the patient’s complaints, the appointment of the necessary treatment and constant monitoring and adjustment of its process.
Parkinson’s disease treatment
At the moment, it is completely impossible to cure the disease, but there are methods that allow you to stop the symptoms that appear. These include:
- drug therapy;
- surgical intervention;
- physiotherapy exercises (LFK) and massage.
Drug treatment of Parkinson’s disease consists in restoring the concentration of dopamine and the balance of neurohormones. Levodopa is the best drug to deal with this, but they are prescribed already in the later stages of the development of the disease. The progression of the disease is effectively stopped by neuroprotective drugs, but in any case, a set of medications should be selected by a neurologist.
Surgery involves deep brain stimulation. Electrodes are introduced into the body, which send signals to the brain, and thereby the symptoms of the disease are weakened. However, this method cannot completely stop the development of the disease.
Much more effective and necessary is therapeutic exercises, without which the treatment of Parkinson’s disease is indispensable. Doctors recommend the following simple exercises that can be done both in a specialized rehabilitation center and on your own at home:
- circular movements with different parts of the hands;
- twisting the body from a sitting and standing position;
- torso and head tilts;
- raising the legs in parallel with the floor;
- neck stretching exercises.
It is also useful to be outdoors more often, read books aloud, controlling speech. Regular massage is useful in that it affects different muscle groups, relieves tension and improves the functioning of the nervous system. Whichever method of treatment seems closer and easier to you, consult with your doctor about the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Specialists of the health center will select the most appropriate set of techniques for a particular case. Massage, physiotherapy exercises, and non-invasive stimulation methods are prescribed individually to achieve the greatest effect. More details can be found by asking a question of interest in the form.