Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a disorder of the central nervous system affecting the motor system.
Parkinson’s disease affects the central nervous system. The symptoms of this disease include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty in walking. Depression, anxiety, sleep and emotional problems are also found in the affected. Genetic and environmental factors are considered to cause Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s was earlier considered as a disease of old age, however, it may be seen in younger people also.
Though the real causes of Parkinson’s disease are unknown, the genetic and environmental factors have been identified as majorly responsible for its occurrence. In some, specific genetic mutations may cause Parkinson’s disease. Also, certain toxins or environmental factors may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s may vary from one person to another. In some, the symptoms are marked by tremors, slowed movement (bradykinesia), rigid muscles, impaired posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, speech and writing changes.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
Older people over 60 are greatly prone to Parkinson’s disease. Young adults are rarely affected by Parkinson’s. A family history of Parkinson’s may also pose the risk of Parkinson’s. Also, men are more prone to Parkinson’s disease than women. Continuous exposure to chemicals, herbicides and pesticides also increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The complications of Parkinson’s are seen as thinking difficulties, depression and emotional changes, swallowing problems, sleep disorders, bladder problems and constipation.
TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
The doctor may look for symptoms of Parkinson’s. Later, the doctor may recommend blood tests and imaging tests for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
In addition to medications that help in treating the symptoms, the patient needs to follow-up regularly with specialist doctors and neurologists. Lifestyle changes with focus on aerobic exercise, physical and speech therapy are also advised.