- 1 What is Parkinson’s Disease?
- 2 Causes of Parkinsonism
- 3 Symptoms of Parkinson’s Diseases
- 4 Classification of Parkinson’s
- 5 Diagnosis of Parkinson’s
- 6 Treatment of Parkinsonism
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects the Motor Nervous System. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while a tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.
The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain. In Parkinson’s patients, 80 percent or more of these dopamine-producing cells are damaged, dead, or otherwise degenerated. This causes the nerve cells to fire wildly, leaving patients unable to control their movements
Causes of Parkinsonism
The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role, including:
- Your genes Researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that can cause Parkinson’s disease. Certain gene variations appear to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Environmental triggers-Some scientists have suggested that Parkinson’s disease may result from exposure to an environmental toxin or injury – including rural living, well water, manganese and pesticides. Some studies have demonstrated that prolonged occupational exposure to certain chemicals is associated with an elevated risk of PD. These include the insecticides permethrin and beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH), the herbicides paraquat and 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and the fungicide
A synthetic neurotoxin agent called MPTP can also cause immediate and permanent Parkinsonism.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Diseases
Parkinson’s disease symptoms and signs may vary from person to person. Early signs may be mild and may go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides.
Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:
- A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may notice a back-and-forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger, known as a pill-rolling tremor. One characteristic of Parkinson’s disease is a tremor of your hand when it is relaxed (at rest).
- Rigid muscles.Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can limit your range of motion and cause you pain.
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia).Over time, Parkinson’s disease may reduce your ability to move and slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk, or you may find it difficult to get out of a chair. Also, you may drag your feet as you try to walk, making it difficult to move
- Parkinsonian gait.Individuals with more progressive Parkinson’s disease develop a distinctive shuffling walk with a stooped position and a diminished or absent arm swing. It may become difficult to start walking and to make turns. Individuals may freeze in mid-stride and appear to fall forward while walking.
- Postural instability.Impaired or lost reflexes can make it difficult to adjust posture to maintain balance. Postural instability may lead to falls.
Secondary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
- anxiety, insecurity, and stress
- confusion, memory loss, and dementia (more common in elderly individuals)
- difficulty swallowing and excessive salivation
- diminished sense of smell
- increased sweating
- male erectile dysfunction
- skin problems
- slowed, quieter speech, and monotone voice
- urinary frequency/urgency
In its early stages, Parkinson’s disease can resemble a number of other conditions with Parkinson-like symptoms known as Parkinsonism. These conditions include multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, Lewy body dementia, stroke, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and head trauma. Alzheimer’s disease and primary lateral sclerosis can also be mistaken for Parkinson’s disease. Other similar conditions include essential tremor, dystonic tremor, vascular Parkinsonism, and drug-induced Parkinsonism.
Classification of Parkinson’s
The term Parkinsonism is used for a motor syndrome whose main symptoms are tremor at rest, stiffness, slowing of movement and postural instability.
Parkinsonian syndromes can be divided into four subtypes according to their origin
- Primary or Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease is the most common form of parkinsonism and is usually defined as “primary” parkinsonism, meaning parkinsonism with no external identifiable cause
- Secondary or acquired – when it occurs as the result of an identifiable cause. For example, certain medicines, brain tumors, strokes, infections (such as encephalitis), and toxins (such as carbon monoxide or manganese) can cause secondary Parkinsonism.
- Hereditary parkinsonism
- Parkinson plus syndromes or multiple system degeneration -Parkinson plus diseases are primary Parkinsonism’s which present additional features. They include multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration anddementia with Lewy bodies.
Stages of Parkinson’s Disease
According to severity of the disease divided in 5 stages:-
Stage 1 – It is the mildest form of Parkinson’s. At this level, there may be unusual symptoms, but they’re not severe enough to interfere with daily tasks and overall lifestyle. In fact, the signs of the disorder are so minimal at this stage that they’re often missed. Tremors and other difficulties in movement are generally exclusive to one side of the body during stage 1
Stage 2 – Stage 2 is considered a moderate form of Parkinson’s, and the symptoms are much more noticeable than those experienced in stage 1. Stiffness, tremors, and trembling may be more noticeable, and changes in facial expressions can occur. While muscle stiffness prolongs task completion, stage 2 does not impair balance .Patients at this stage feel symptoms on both sides of the body and sometimes experience speech difficulties. The progression from stage I to stage II can take months or even years.
Stage 3 – It is the mid-stage in Parkinson’s, and it marks a major turning point in the progression of the disease. Many of the symptoms are the same as those in stage 2, except now loss of balance and decreased reflexes can also occur. This is why falls are common in stage 3. Parkinson’s significantly affects daily tasks at this stage, but patients are still able to complete them.
Stage 4 – During stage 4, it’s possible to stand without assistance. However, movement may require a walker or other type of assistive device. Many patients are unable to live alone at this stage of Parkinson’s because of significant decreases in movement and reaction times. Living alone at stage 4 or later may make many daily tasks impossible, and can be extremely dangerous.
Stage 5 – Stage 5 is the most advanced and debilitating stage of Parkinson’s disease. Advanced stiffness in the legs can also cause freezing upon standing. Patients require wheelchairs, and are often unable to stand without falling. Around-the-clock assistance is required to prevent falls. Patients at this stage may even experience hallucinations and fall victim to occasional delusions. Side effects from medications at stage 5 can outweigh the benefits.
Diagnosis of Parkinson’s
There is no standard diagnostic test for Parkinson’s. Researchers are working to develop an accurate “biological marker,” such as a blood test or an imaging scan. To date, the best objective testing for PD consists of specialized brain scanning techniques that can measure the dopamine system and brain metabolism.
Your doctor may order tests, such as blood tests, to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms. Imaging tests — such as MRI, ultrasound of the brain, SPECT and PET scans — may also be used to help rule out other disorders. .
Treatment of Parkinsonism
Drug treatments aim to increase the level of dopamine that reaches the brain and stimulate the parts of the brain where dopamine works.
These are the main types of drugs that are used to treat Parkinson’s:
- Dopamine agonists
- Glutamate antagonist
- COMT inhibitors
- MAO-B inhibitors
Side effects of medication
When Parkinson’s medication is working well, Parkinson’s symptoms will be well-controlled. This is called ‘on’ time. When symptoms are not well-controlled and don’t respond to medication, this is called being ‘off’.
As Parkinson’s progresses, some people find that a dose doesn’t last as long as it used to. This is called wearing off. Sometimes the effects of wearing off can happen quickly and there will be a sudden change between being ‘on’ and ‘off’.
Some people who have been taking levodopa for some time experience involuntary movements (dyskinesia). These are uncontrollable, often jerky movements that you do not intend to make.
These movements can affect your arms, legs, head or your whole body.
Other side effects
The following can also be side effects of some Parkinson’s medication:
- Impulsive and compulsive behavior – Impulsive and compulsive behavior is when a person can’t resist the temptation to carry out certain activities. This behavior can include addictive gambling, eating and shopping, or an increase in sexual thoughts and feelings
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS),a form of stereotactic surgery has become the surgical procedure of choice for Parkinson disease for the following reasons:
- It does not involve destruction of brain tissue
- It is reversible
- It can be adjusted as the disease progresses or adverse events occur.
- Bilateral procedures can be performed without a significant increase in adverse events.
- It has become a choice because long-term complications of levodopa therapy result in significant disability over time
Homoeopathy Treatment for Parkinson’s
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means when you start our treatment for Parkinson’s disease, there is relief in the symptoms of Parkinson’s but also improvement in general health of the patient. The patients may feel improvement right from the first month itself.
Homoeopathy Medicines for Parkinson’s Diseases
Weakness of limbs, trembling of extremities, especially hands. Paralytic agitans. Lacerating pain in joints. Cold and clammy sweat on limbs. Oily perspiration. Tremors everywhere in body. Weakness with trembling from least exertion. All symptoms are aggravated at night, warmth of bed, Damp, cold, rainy weather and during perspiration. Complaints increase during sweating and rest. All symptoms always associated with weariness, prostration and trembling. Slow in answering questions. Memory weakened and loss of will power. Skin always moist and freely perspiring. Itching worse warmth of bed.
Violent trembling (twitching) of the whole body especially after emotions. Twitching in children. Chorea. Paralysis of hands and feet. Trembling of hands while writing. Lameness, weakness, trembling and twitching of various muscles. Feet in continued motion, cannot keep still. Worse touch, between 5-7 pm., after dinner, better eating, discharges.
Centers its action on nervous system, causing various degrees of motor paralysis…Dizziness, drowsiness, dullness and trembling are the hallmark of this remedy. Trembling ranks the highest in this remedy, weakness and paralysis, especially of the muscles of the head. Paralysis of various groups of muscles like eyes, throat, chest, sphincters and extremities. Head remedy for tremors. Mind sluggish and muscular system relaxed. Staggering gait. Loss of power of muscular control. Cramps in muscles of forearm. Excessive trembling and weakness of all limbs. Worse by dampness, excitement, bad news. Better by bending forwards, profuse urination, continued motion and open air.
The above medicines and many more form the core of our speciality treatment for Parkinsonism that’s specially formulated & customized for you. Meet our specialist today to know if our speciality treatment for Parkinson’s disease can help you too.