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Parkinson's Disease

Also called: Paralysis agitans, Shaking palsy

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a type of movement disorder. It happens when nerve cells in the brain don't produce enough of a brain chemical called dopamine. Sometimes it is genetic, but most cases do not seem to run in families. Exposure to chemicals in the environment might play a role.

Symptoms begin gradually, often on one side of the body. Later they affect both sides. They include

  • Trembling of hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • Stiffness of the arms, legs and trunk
  • Slowness of movement
  • Poor balance and coordination

As symptoms get worse, people with the disease may have trouble walking, talking, or doing simple tasks. They may also have problems such as depression, sleep problems, or trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking.

There is no lab test for PD, so it can be difficult to diagnose. Doctors use a medical history and a neurological examination to diagnose it.

PD usually begins around age 60, but it can start earlier. It is more common in men than in women. There is no cure for PD. A variety of medicines sometimes help symptoms dramatically. Surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS) can help severe cases. With DBS, electrodes are surgically implanted in the brain. They send electrical pulses to stimulate the parts of the brain that control movement.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

The following features are indicative of Parkinson's Disease:
  • tremor
  • slowed movement
  • rigid muscles
  • loss of automatic movements
  • speech changes
  • writing changes

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Common Causes of Parkinson's Disease

The following are the most common causes of Parkinson's Disease:
  • genetic mutations
  • environmental factors

Risk Factors for Parkinson's Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Parkinson's Disease:
  • increasing age
  • hereditary
  • exposure to herbicides and pesticides

Prevention of Parkinson's Disease

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Parkinson's Disease. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • intake of caffeine containing drinks reduces the risk of developing disease
  • do regular aerobic exercises

Occurrence of Parkinson's Disease

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Parkinson's Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Parkinson's Disease most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 50 years

Common Gender

Parkinson's Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Parkinson's Disease:
  • Blood tests: To rule out other conditions that may be causing the symptoms
  • Imaging tests: To find out the other disorders by MRI, ultrasound of the brain and PET scans

Doctor for Diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Parkinson's Disease:
  • Neurologist

Complications of Parkinson's Disease if untreated

Yes, Parkinson's Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Parkinson's Disease is left untreated:
  • thinking difficulties
  • swallowing problems
  • bladder problems
  • constipation

Procedures for Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

The following procedures are used to treat Parkinson's Disease:
  • Surgical procedures: Works by implanting the electrodes into a specific part of the brain to reduce tremor, rigidity and to halt the involuntary movements

Self-care for Parkinson's Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Parkinson's Disease:
  • Healthy eating: Eases the symptoms of disease
  • Regular exercise: Increases the muscle strength, flexibility and balance

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Parkinson's Disease:
  • Body massaging: Reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation
  • Acupuncture: Reduces the pain
  • Tai chi therapy: Improves flexibility, balance and muscle strength
  • Practicing yoga: Increase the flexibility and balance
  • Practicing Alexander technique: Reduces muscle tension and pain
  • Practicing meditation: Reduces stress and pain and improve your sense of well-being
  • Practicing music or art therapy: Keeps the mind relax
  • Practicing music therapy: Improves the patient's walk and speech
  • Practicing pet therapy: Having a dog or cat may increase movement and improve your emotional health

Patient Support for Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

The following actions may help Parkinson's Disease patients:
  • Talk to friends and family: Sharing your feeling will boost your mood
  • Join support groups: Talk to the individuals suffering from the same disease will keep your enthusiasm high

Time for Treatment of Parkinson's Disease

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Parkinson's Disease to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Parkinson's Disease.

Related Topics

Movement Disorders

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