Parkinson is the 2nd most common neurodegenerative disorder that causes a progressive deterioration of motor function due to a loss in dopamine-producing brain cells. Moreover, this condition can significantly cause a reduction in the movements.
In Adults, the onset of Parkinson's disease is the most common, an early onset can occur between 21-40 years of age, while the juvenile onset is less than 21 years. Dr. Manoj Khanal, Senior Consultant, Neurology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, says most cases are idiopathic; 5 genes are implicated (SNCA; PARK2; PARK7; LRRK2; PINK1).
What are the risk factors and its symptoms?
The risk factors include:
- AGE (largest risk factor) more than 60 years
- SEX (male:female)
- Head trauma
- Environmental toxins like pesticides
Main symptoms are:
- SLOWNESS OF MOVEMENTS
- GAIT ABNORMALITY
- POSTURAL INSTABILITY
Is there any diagnosis available?
1. At least two of the three major symptoms should be present (Tremor; muscle rigidity; slowness)
2. Onset of symptoms started on one side of body
3. No secondary cause like medications; infection; stroke; metabolic cause;
4. Significant improvement with levodopa.
What is the treatment?
There is no treatment to cure the disease. The experts say that the treatment provided will only reduce the symptoms and progression of the disease. However, the most effective therapy is LEVODOPA+ CARBIDOPA, which is meant to increase the amount of dopamine in the brain. The treatment should be provided as early as possible to delay the progression of the disease.
Surgery and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) are meant in refractory cases. Parkinson is not a fatal disease. Those on proper medications can lead a normal life for several years. Secondary complications like pneumonia, fall-related injuries and choking can lead to death.
To manage the disease effectively, you need to:
- Make lifestyle changes
- Exercise Regularly
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
You need to meet an expert neurologist to seek correct medical intervention.