Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects how the person moves, including how they speak and write. Symptoms develop gradually, and may start off with ever-so-slight tremors in one hand. People with Parkinson’s disease also experience stiffness and find they cannot carry out movements as rapidly as before.
Age – The older you get the greater the risk. Although Parkinson’s disease can affect young people, however this is exceptional.
علم الوراثة – A person who has a close relative (brother, sister, mother, father) with Parkinson’s disease has a slightly higher risk of developing it himself/herself, compared to others. Even so, according to The Mayo Clinic, USA, the risk is still less than 5%.
Gender – Males are slightly more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease compared to females.
Toxin Exposure – Individuals who have been exposed to some chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, herbicides or pesticides have a slightly higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, compared to other people.
Some Medications – Such as antipsychotics used to treat severe paranoia and schizophrenia can cause Parkinsonism (symptoms that resemble Parkinson’s disease).
Causes of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is caused by the degeneration or destruction of dopamine-producing nerve cells (dopaminergic cells), which in turn makes it harder for the brain to control and coordinate muscle movement.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
- A tendency to stoop, to lean forward
- Loss of facial expression
- Slowness of movement
- Slowed motion
- Sexual dysfunction
- Speech problems
- Swallowing difficulties
- The arms may not swing when walking
- Sleep problems
- Loss of energy
- Muscle stiffness
- Reduced sensation of pain
- Reduced sense of smell
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary retention
Treatment of Parkinson’s disease
Deep Brain Stimulation:
A surgical procedure used to treat several disabling neurological symptoms, such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement and walking difficulties.
The thalamus is destroyed (lesioned) or removed by cutting (ablated). The thalamus is a tiny part of the brain. The procedure may help reduce tremor. Thalamotomy is rarely performed these days.
Rarely performed these days. The subthalamus, a very small area of the brain, is destroyed.
Since the introduction of deep brain stimulation, this procedure is rarely done. The gobus pallidus, a part of the brain, maybe overactive in patients with Parkinson’s disease, causing a different part of the brain which controls movement to become less active. The surgeon destroys a small part of the globus pallidus by creating a scar, resulting in less activity in that area of the brain, which in turn may help relieve movement symptoms, such as rigidity and tremor.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, approximately half of all Parkinson’s patients experience communication problems, such as slurred speech and poor body language. A speech and language therapist can help with the use of language and speech. Patients with swallowing difficulties may also be helped by a speech therapist.