You might have come across people who can’t move their body parts on command, and their muscles are so stiff that they can’t control any of their movements. Or their hands or some other organs are moving involuntarily. It means they have a disorder called ‘Parkinson’s.’
Parkinson’s is a nervous system disorder that affects a person’s movement. There is a part in our brain called the ‘substantia nigra’, which controls the movement of our body parts. When the nerve cells in this part get degenerated, this disorder occurs. These nerve cells get impaired or die and fail to produce a crucial hormone called ‘dopamine,’ and if the loss of dopamine-producing cells gets higher than 80%, a person suffers from Parkinson’s.
During the early stages of Parkinson’s, the patient’s face may show little to no expression. Their speech might become slurred or safe, or their arms might not swing while walking. As the condition progresses over time, the patient’s conditions get worse. Sadly, you can’t get this disease fully cured, as no specific treatment has been found yet. However, you can go through medications that can improve the symptoms, or some doctors might suggest surgery that can help to keep some symptoms in check.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
The symptoms of Parkinson’s can vary from person to person. The earliest symptoms of this disorder might be really mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms can start to show on one side of the patient’s body, and that side usually remains in worse condition than the other one, even after both sides get affected. Here are some symptoms of Parkinson’s-
Shaking or tremor usually begins in an organ, most commonly in your fingers or a hand. When you are resting your hand, it might tremble. You might keep rubbing your forefinger and thumb back and forth as a cause of the tremor.
Movements Getting Slow
If anyone suffers from Perkinson’s, it slows their movements over time and makes it hard and time-consuming to complete simple tasks. Their steps might get shorter while walking as time progresses, and when they sit on a chair or something, it might become difficult to get up from that position. Dragging might take place too during their walking.
Muscle can get stiff in any part of the body of a Parkinson’s patient. And this stiffness can limit the range of one’s motion and cause a lot of pain.
Imbalance and Impaired Posture
Parkinson’s patients might face balancing problems in their body, and their posture might become stooped.
Lack of Automatic Movements
The ability to perform movements that are unconscious can decrease when someone’s suffering from Parkinson’s. These unconscious movements include smiling any time, blinking, swinging arms while walking, etc.
Changes in Speech
Significant changes in one’s speech can occur when they’re dealing with Parkinson’s. One’s speech might get quicker, softer, or slurry, or one might feel hesitant before speaking. And the change of tones in speaking might get reduced, and the speech might get monotone.
Writing can get extremely difficult, and writing may appear smaller than before.
If you ever face any of these symptoms, you must go see a doctor as soon as possible for both diagnosing your condition and ruling out if there’s any chance of your having Parkinson’s.
Remedies of Perkinson’s
There are no direct remedies for Parkinson’s yet. But a patient can go through medications that can help them manage difficulties with their movements, tremor, and walking. These medications work to increase the dopamine level in the body. You can go through significant improvement with different medications. These medications include dopamine increasers. However, there are types of treatments that don’t directly increase dopamine in the body. Instead, it works in your body to generate different chemical reactions that can help increase the generation of dopamine. Light therapy is one of this kind. Now let’s look at some medications for Parkinson’s.
The most effective kind of medication for Parkinson’s is levodopa, which is a natural chemical that converts to dopamine after getting into the brain. Levodopa is used after combining with carbidopa, as carbidopa protects it from converting to dopamine too early before getting into the brain. Carbidopa helps to reduce the side effects like nausea and others.
There are some dopamine agonists that don’t directly change into dopamines like levodopa. Instead, they work as a substitute for dopamine and try to mimic the things dopamine does in your brain. However, this is not as effective as levodopa treatment.
Light therapy doesn’t directly increase dopamine in your brain, but it generates different chemical reactions in your body that can indirectly affect the increase in dopamine. Also, light therapy helps to ease the body for different movements and helps to keep symptoms in check.
Parkinson’s is a rare disease, and its causes are quite unknown. As a result, the ways of preventing it are unknown too. However, different researches have shown that people who take caffeine regularly have a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s than the ones that don’t drink caffeine, such as coffee, tea, etc.