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Living with Parkinson's

Falls in Parkinson’s Disease – Causes, Effects, Prevention Tips

Due to the nature of Parkinson’s disease, falls are a fairly common occurrence mainly due to instability with the posture and impaired gait. Falls and freezing of gait are the two most common interconnected phenomenon associated with patients of Parkinson’s disease. It has a host of complications as would frequent falls in any person, irrespective of Parkinson’s disease.

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Parkinson's Disease Demographics

Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurological disorders and the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world.  The pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease is quite well understood, albeit not completely. Dopaminergic neurons particularly in the substantia nigra, a part of the brain, becomes damaged gradually and die leading to lower than normal levels of the brain hormone dopamine. Although this is known, the exact cause of this damage and cell death is not clearly understood. Risk factors including certain genetic mutations have been identified. However, these risks account for only a small proportion of PD cases. Analyzing the incidence and distribution of any disease also helps to provide clues to those at risk based on demographics despite not having any knowledge of the known risk factors. The study of this incidence of a [… Read More]

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Effects of Parkinson's Disease

Complications of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that adversely affects the movements, control over the muscles, balance, and coordination. It is a progressive disease and symptoms worsens over time due to the loss of dopaminergic neurons situated in the nigro striatal region of the brain. Complications may arise in any disease if left untreated or as it progresses and Parkinson’s disease is no different. These complications may be associated with PD itself as it gets worse, or may be arise as a side effect from the medication being used for PD or at times arise separately due to the effects of Parkinson’s disease on various aspects of life and health (secondary). Parkinson’s disease itself is not fatal but some of its complications are, and therefore proper care and vigilance is necessary. The disease progresses severely in [… Read More]

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Parkinson's Disease FAQ

Detecting Dopamine Loss for Parkinson’s Diagnosis and Monitoring

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by a gradual and progressive loss of dopamine nerve cells (dopaminergic neurons) in the substantia nigra region of brain. Dopamine loss is the characteristic hallmark of the disease and is the main culprit behind the signs and symptoms and complications associated with it. Although there is no specific test for Parkinson’s disease, and the accuracy of clinical diagnosis of parkinsonism is still limited, however recent advances in a diagnostic imaging technique known as  SPECT  molecular imaging technique, may help doctors identify high risk patients even before the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear. It may also serve as a tool to monitor the disease progression. Currently Parkinson’s disease is identified by a clinical diagnosis where the medical history and clinical presentation allows a doctor to reach the diagnosis. However, [… Read More]

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Parkinson's Disease Demographics

Cigarette Smoking, Nicotine and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder which occurs in about 1% of the general population above 55 years of age. It manifests as selective damage to the dopaminergic neurons, which are situated in the nigro-striatal region of the brain and leads to motor-deficits which includes rigidity, tremors, dementia, frequent falls, and freezing of gait in the later stages. Dopamine replacement therapy is the most commonly used treatment strategy against PD. However it provides only symptomatic relief and the disease progresses inevitably. Also, as the time goes by, it loses its efficacy along with a substantial increase in the side effects. That being said, it becomes crucial to develop an interventional strategy, which can effectively retard, halt or even reverse the process of disease progression. In this regard, the epidemiological studies over the past 50 years [… Read More]

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Parkinson's Disease FAQ

Blood Test For Parkinson’s Disease and Genetic Testing

Parkinson’s disease or PD is a neurodegenerative disease which means that nervous dysfunction is gradual and progressive. In other words, it develops slowly and gets worse over time, affecting approximately 5 million people throughout the world. It is one of the diseases involving extensive ongoing research in the diagnostic and therapeutic areas. Most PD patients only discover the condition once signs and symptoms, usually those affecting movement, become obvious and affect daily functioning to a level that they need to seek medical advice. However, there are methods to diagnose Parkinson’s disease in the early stages when a person has no signs or symptoms (asymptomatic) or when it is too mild to be evident either to the patient or doctor. These diagnostic tests should be conducted routinely on patients who are possibly at risk, like those [… Read More]

Stem Cells
Parkinson's Disease Research

Stem Cell Clinics for Parkinson’s Disease Treatment

Parkinson disease is a gradually progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting the dopaminergic neurons in the nigrostriatal region of the brain. Damage to the nigro striatal region leads to a loss of dopaminergic neurons, which leads to slowing of the movements, tremors, rigidity, lack of muscle control and coordination, and freezing of gait in the advanced stages. The disease affects millions of people worldwide annually, and is very difficult to diagnose and cure because of the overlapping atypical Parkinsonian syndromes.   Keeping this in mind, the Stem cell therapy is growing in popularity globally particularly for neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Researchers have confirmed the possibility of development of dopaminergic neurons from human embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to become any cell of the body. Clinics offering stem cell therapy are now [… Read More]

DNA
Parkinson's Disease News

Genetic Mutation VPS35 Linked to Parkinson’s Disease

An exciting new discovery on a genetic mutation that appears to be associated with Parkinson’s disease once again brings hope to some PD patients. Parkinson’s disease is gradually progressive neurodegenerative disorder manifested due to the loss of dopamine producing nerve cells, which are predominantly situated in a crescent shaped region of of the brain called as nigro-striatum. The main causes and pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease is still not well understood. However various familial and genetic factors have been found to play a crucial role in the development of disease. The genes undergo mutations and somehow alter the dopamine related biochemical processes in the brain. One such mutation in the gene known as VPS35, was identified in a large Swiss family with a history of Parkinson’s disease. While this may not be applicable for every case [… Read More]

Lab Test
Parkinson's Disease FAQ

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapy in Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by selective loss of nigro-striatal dopaminergic neurons, which manifests as motor deficits in the form of tremors, rigidity, lack of muscle movements and coordination, frequent falls and freezing of gait. Pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of PD is currently one of the most studied and researched subject. The treatment options available can only ease the quality of life, but cannot halt or retard the inevitable progression of disease. One of the latest medico-technological advancement in the field of parkinson’s research is the advent of pluripotent stem cell technology as means of therapeutic intervention. Although in the early stages, the potential use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) holds tremendous possibilities for the future. A significant amount of research is still necessary [… Read More]

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Disability Help

Caring for the Frail and Elderly

There are many points to consider when someone has to take care of an individual who is disabled or a frail elderly person. If the person in question is confined to a bed or wheelchair, then the considerations for the care provider increase exponentially. These patients are in need of more assistance and time in their care. It also takes extra planning and an insight into the potential problems that the patient may experience, and to look for the best possible way to either remedy it quickly or avoid these problems altogether. It increases vulnerability of the patients and creates new challenges for nurses and other health care providers, as they have to keep in mind the dignity and autonomy of the frail elderly, which requires a great deal of clinical competence, compassion and patience. [… Read More]