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How to Control Parkinsons Disease Progression

Parkinsons disease is a neurological disorder. It affects movement, balance, and coordination. It is a progressive disease, and the symptoms worsen over time.

How to Control Parkinsons Disease Progression

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder. It affects movement, balance, and coordination. It is a progressive disease, and the symptoms worsen over time. 
Parkinson's disease affects an area of the brain known as substantia nigra. The neurons in this area are responsible for producing the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for the smooth transmission of signals in the brain, making balance and movement possible. As the disease progresses, the symptoms get worse. 
There is no specific test for Parkinson's disease. Your doctor at BLK-MAX Hospital will reach a diagnosis based on your medical history, a physical examination, and a neurological examination. This could involve imaging studies. There is no known cure for Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's disease symptoms

The symptoms of the disease may be mild at the beginning and develop slowly over the years. The symptoms also vary from person to person. Most people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease experience disorders that affect -

  • Movement - Bradykinesia or slowness of movement is one of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Difficulty in walking, getting out of a chair, clapping, writing, brushing, buttoning garments, etc., are all indicative of bradykinesia.
  • Coordination - Unsteady walking, shuffling or dragging feet while moving, and frequent falls are symptoms of Parkinson's disease. The disease also causes an inability to swing arms while you walk. This causes an increased risk of falling during movements.
  • Facial expression – People affected by Parkinson's disease sometimes experience rigidity of facial muscles. This may cause a frozen expression and inability to blink or smile. 
  • Voice – The pitch of the voice may become a monotone, with the progression of Parkinson's disease. 
  • Handwriting – Parkinson's disease causes tremors and rigidity of muscles. This affects the handwriting of the person affected.
  • Sense of smell – A loss of smell usually accompanies Parkinson's disease.

 

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Other Parkinson's disease symptoms could include 

  • Muscle cramps or spasms 
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Memory issues
  • Mood swings
  • Hunched over posture
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Urinary problems
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Vision changes
  • Constipation

 

Keep up a positive lifestyle with Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is progressive. While there is no known cure, treatment can delay the progression of the disease. It is imperative to face day-to-day challenges with a positive approach. Having a support system helps deal with the issues as they come up. Talk to your doctor at BLK-MAX hospital about lifestyle changes to help deal with the disease.

  • Exercise regularly - Staying active and exercising helps stay healthy and live well with Parkinson's disease. Taking long walks, stretching, and training to maintain balance helps relieve some of the symptoms of the disease. In addition, scientific research supports the benefits of exercising regularly.
  • Prevent falls – With increasing muscle rigidity, the risk of falling needs to be actively managed. Installing handles and support bars, using non-skid rubber mats, taking the help of a cane or a walker when needed can significantly help prevent falls. 
  • Sleep well – Sleep disturbances are common with Parkinson's disease. This could include insomnia, hallucinations, nightmares, restless leg syndrome, etc. It is essential to practice sleep hygiene. Setting a sleep schedule, turning off electronic devices, sleeping on a comfortable bed, etc., can help you get much-needed rest and stay healthy.
  • Eat a healthy diet - Maintaining overall health is the key to living well with Parkinson's disease. Most people benefit from eating fresh foods such as vegetables and fruits, milk and dairy products, lean meat and fish, nuts, whole grains, etc.

Parkinson's disease treatment

It cannot be cured, but several Parkinson's disease treatment protocols and therapies can be used to slow down the disease's progress or control the symptoms. 
Medication for Parkinson's disease includes chemicals such as Levodopa that are converted into dopamine. Dopamine agonists, which mimic the effects of dopamine, may also be used. MAO B inhibitors prevent the breakdown of dopamine, while Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors support Levodopa. In addition, several other Parkinson's medicines help control the symptoms.
Surgical options and therapies such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) are offered in the advanced stages of Parkinson's disease. DBS provides a sustained benefit in managing the symptoms but does not arrest the progress of the disease.

Secondary Parkinsonism

Secondary parkinsonism occurs when a person experiences symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease due to the consumption of certain medicines or due to other medical conditions. Several factors, including may cause secondary parkinsonism - 

  • Stroke
  • Diffuse Lewy body disease
  • Brain tumors
  • Vascular lesions
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Progressive supranuclear atrophy
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Mercury poisoning
  • Use of narcotics


In some of these cases, the secondary parkinsonism can be reversed or the progression arrested by treating the underlying disorder. However, in some cases, such as Lewy body disease, the condition cannot be reversed. 

FAQ

Q.1 What foods should Parkinson's patients avoid?

Parkinson's patients are often advised to avoid high fat, high salt foods, acidic foods, and packaged foods. In addition, as muscle rigidity progresses, the patient may need to avoid hard to chew foods.

Q.2 Which fruit is good for Parkinson's disease patients?

Parkinson's patients are advised to include fruits high in antioxidants, such as grapes, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. In addition, cranberries are recommended to help with urinary infections.

Q.3 Why do people get Parkinson's?

Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of nerve cells in an area of the brain called substantia nigra. Researchers believe that the condition could result from several genetic and environmental factors.

Q.4 What vitamins are good for Parkinson's?

Parkinson's patients need a healthy, balanced diet. Often Vitamin B12, C, D, and E supplements are recommended.