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Parkinsons Disease: A closer look

Imagine not being able to hold a cup of tea without spilling it or not being able to dress up all by yourself. It might be difficult for you to even imagine it, but for some, it is a reality that they have to live with on a daily basis. Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disorder marked by involuntary movements of the limbs, which affects nearly 10 million people across the globe. Due to the lack of awareness about the condition and various taboos associated with it, people with Parkinson’s have to experience a lot of problems in their social lives too. This blog, by an expert specialising in parkinson’s treatment in Gurugram, will give you a closer look at the disorder.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system, that is characterised by uncontrolled body movements like bradykinesia, tremors and rigidity, that interfere with your ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. The condition is progressive in nature, which means that the symptoms are mild initially, and worsen with time. Sometimes they may even go unnoticed for weeks or even months. Generally, Parkinson’s disease affects motor functions, however, as the condition progresses, it can give rise to non-motor complications such as mental health problems, sleep-related problems, and pain, as well.

What causes Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease is the result of loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra, which is a midbrain dopaminergic nucleus that plays a very vital role in regulating motor functions. The nerve cells that are found in this region of the brain help in the production of dopamine, a hormone that also acts as a neurotransmitter, carrying signals between different areas of the brain and the nervous system. It is these messages that control our movement. The loss of these nerve cells can drastically affect the production of dopamine which, in turn disrupts normal motor functions.

The loss of nerve cells is gradual and happens over years. Experts from the top neurology hospital in Gurugram suggest that the symptoms start to develop after almost half of the nerve cells are damaged or lost. Now, the question is, What leads to the loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra? The exact cause of this is not known, however, it is believed to be a result of genetic and environmental factors.

What are the indications of Parkinson’s disease?

Three classic symptoms that could be an indication of Parkinson’s include:

  • Tremors - Uncontrolled shaking of the legs and arms
  • Bradykinesia - Slowing down of physical movement
  • Rigidity - Unexplained stiffness in the muscles

Other symptoms that may be triggered by Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Problems related to balance
  • Anosmia or loss of smell
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Erectile dysfunction in males
  • Sexual dysfunction in females
  • Insomnia
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Depression and anxiety

It is important to understand that all these symptoms only suggest that a person has Parkinson’s disease and to confirm the diagnosis, it is important to go for a proper evaluation and assessment.

Can Parkinson’s be cured?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Parkinson’s cannot be cured, however, the condition can be managed and its progression can be slowed down with medication and therapy. Supportive therapies can make it easier for you to deal with the symptoms, physiotherapy can help to alleviate muscle rigidity and occupational therapy can help you to get back to normal day-to-day activities to some extent. Speech and language therapy may also be recommended for some patients who are experiencing dysphagia. You can consult the best neurologists in Gurugram to get yourself evaluated today.

Dr. Sunil Singla, Director and Head of the Department


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