PARKINSONS

WHAT IS PARKISONS DISEASE

It is a disorder where there is progressive deterioration of the nervous system. It is characterised by tremors, rigidity, loss or impairment of the power of voluntary movement and postural instability. The cause of Parkinson’s has still not yet been established, however several factors play a role. [1; 2]

RISK FACTORS [1]

  • Age.

  • Gender: affects males more than females.

  • Race: affects Europeans the most.

  • Trauma to the head.

  • Lower socioeconomic status.

  • Exposure to certain neurotoxins such as pesticides

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS [3]

  • Motor

    • Slowness of movement.

    • Rigidity.

    • Resting tremor.

    • Postural changes.

    • Freezing with walking.

  • Non-motor

    • Reduction in the capability to smell.

    • Constipation.

    • Depression and/or anxiety.

    • Fatigue.

    • Sleep disturbances.

    • Excessive salivation.

    • Pain.

    • Sexual dysfunction.

  • As the disease progresses

    • Decrease in bladder control.

    • Swallowing difficulties.

    • Dementia

    • Faints or passing out.

    • Postural low blood pressure.

 

COMPLICATIONS [3]

 

These occur with long time therapy with a drug named levodopa. The most common complication is known to be, abnormality or impairment of voluntary movement.

 

LIFESTYLE MODIFICATIONS [4]

  • Regular exercise: three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes. This will assist in gaining strength, relieving muscle stiffness and to a certain extent delay the progression of the disease.

  • Speech therapy: this will help if you should have an impairment in verbal communication.

  • Balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.

  • Modify home for safety and access with the help of occupational and physical therapists, who will decide whether home assistance such as shower rails, raised toilets, etc., is required.

  • Get adequate amount of sleep: a minimum of eight hours of sleep.

  • Take naps if you feel fatigued during the day.

  • Speak to your doctor about methods of stress management as it has been seen to worsen Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinsons Fig 1 [5].jpg

REFERENCES 

  1. Mayo Clinic Staff [Internet]. Parkinson’s disease. America: Mayo Clinic; [updated 2018 Jun 30; cited 2019 Sep 02]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20376055.

  2. Natural Institute on Aging [Internet]. Parkinson’s Disease. America: U.S. Department if Health & Human Services; [updated 2017 May 16; cited 2019 Sep 02]. Available from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/parkinsons-disease.

  3. Holland, K. [Internet]. Everything You Want to Know About Parkinson’s Disease. America: Healthline Media; [updated 2019 Jan 15; cited 2019 Sep 02]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/parkinsons#symptoms.

  4. Winchester Hospital [Internet]. Lifestyle Changes to Manage Parkinson’s Disease. United Kingdom: Beth Israel Lahey Health; [updated 2016 Nov; cited 2019 Sep 02]. Available from: https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=19970.

  5. Smith, J. [Internet]. Parkinson’s Disease Gene Therapy Clinical Trial Launched in UK. United Kingdom: Labiotech.eu; [updated 2018 Oct 25; cited 2019 Sep 12]. Available from: https://labiotech.eu/medical/axovant-parkinsons-disease-gene/.

  6. Bale, C. [Internet]. Parkinson’s: Much more than a tremor. United Kingdom: Parkinson’s UK; [updated 2018 Apr 09; cited 2019 Sep 12]. Available from: https://medium.com/parkinsons-uk/much-more-than-a-tremor-103b2062ddb.