Have you ever noticed someone with uncontrollable hand or leg movements? There are chances that they could be suffering from Parkinson's disease. It is a brain disorder characterised by repeated movements and shaking which is beyond one's control. These can interfere with one's ability to indulge in normal day-to-day activities, making it difficult to even hold a cup of tea or a glass of water. Experts from the best neurology Hospital in Pune suggest that the condition is progressive in nature and the symptoms tend to worsen gradually, eventually making it difficult for the person to even walk, talk or maintain balance. It has been found that some people suffering from Parkinson's disease are likely to develop behavioural changes, sleep-related issues and depression, too.
At present, there are more than 10 million people suffering from Parkinson's disease across the globe, with only 4 per cent below the age of 50. This clearly suggests that age is a significant risk factor with people above 50 being highly susceptible to developing the condition. It is also pertinent to know that men are 12.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson's ad compared to women. An article published in the Times of India on 11th April 2022 suggests that there can be a 200 to 300 per cent rise in Parkinson's cases in the coming decades. At present, the prevalence is around 300 to 400 people per lakh population, which is still alarming.
Watch out for these signs:
Although there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, it can be managed with timely medical intervention and proper care. This is only possible if you look out for the symptoms and get them assessed at the earliest. Here are some symptoms/signs that you need to watch out for:
- Tremors - It refers to rhythmic shaking, which is usually experienced in the limbs, especially in the hands and fingers. You may experience uncontrollable tremors when you are at complete rest, however, the intensity of the same might decrease when you are indulged in some activity.
- Bradykinesia - It is a condition marked by slowing down of your movement, making a difficult for you to perform any task at a normal rate. Any work that would take a very little time earlier may take even hours.
- Muscle rigidity - Rigidity or stiffness is a lesser known, yet most common symptom of Parkinson's disease. This may limit the normal range of motion, making it difficult for you to do even simple tasks like getting out of bed.
- Problems with balance and posture - People with Parkinson's disease are quite likely to have a stooped posture. They are more prone to tripping or falling down due to impaired balance.
- Changes in speech and text - These problems are usually experienced in the latest stage of Parkinson's disease. Everything you say may sound monotonous and there might even be slurring. Because of the continuous shaking, your handwriting will change drastically.
These are only a few symptoms and there are many more that have been associated with Parkinson's disease. As per the experts from the best neurology hospital in Mumbai, experiencing these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have Parkinson's disease but there is nothing wrong with getting yourself evaluated.
So, what causes Parkinson's?
By now you must have understood what Parkinson's means and when should you see a doctor, however, most of you must be wondering what exactly causes this condition. Well, we all know that Parkinson's is a brain disorder which naturally means that there is some fault in the nervous system that leads to it.
The nervous system contains tiny nerve cells, commonly referred to as neurons. These are the fundamental units, responsible for collecting all the sensory input and generating motor commands that are transmitted to various muscles and glands. Parkinson's disease is caused by the breaking down of these neurons, which can interfere with the production of chemical messengers like dopamine. As this happens, the dopamine levels tend to fall, resulting in abnormal brain activity that gives rise to impaired movement. There are several factors that could be responsible for neurone degeneration. These are:
- Genetic abnormalities - Experts from the best hospital in Thane are of the opinion that Parkinson's disease could be a result of certain genetic mutations. Although the chances are rare and it is usually possible only when you have other family members diagnosed with Parkinson's
- Environmental factors - Parkinson's can be triggered by certain factors that are present in the environment around you. Over-exposure to environmental pollution and toxins could also be linked to it.
It is important to understand that the underline cause of Parkinson's disease cannot be determined in all cases. There are several changes that have no definite explanation and these include the presence of Lewy bodies, which are considered to be a microscopic marker of Parkinson's disease.
If you wish to know more about Parkinson's disease or the various treatment modalities available, you can consult our experts to explore the finest options.