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]
Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurones in the nigro-striatal region of the brain. Loss of taste or smell can occur over a period of time in Parkinson’s disease but it may be so gradual as to remain undetected in many patients. Some studies have shown that impaired sensation of smell may occur in a PD patient even long before the development of motor symptoms. Disorders of taste (gustatory) and smell (olfactory) may occur normally with advancing years but suffering from a neurodegenerative disorder such as Parkinson’s disease seems to increase the chances of such disorders. However, it must be kept in mind that not all people with the loss of smell or taste develop Parkinson’s and also not every patient with Parkinson’s presents with the loss of [… Read More]
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting millions of people all over the world. It is caused by the lack of neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible to control the part of brain incharge of the control movement, emotional response and the ability to feel pleasure and pain. The deficiency of dopamine act synergistically with the increase in the amount free radicals in the body and bring about the physical manifestation of the disease. The symptoms might appear anytime, but majority of the patients affected are usually above 50 years and rarely below 30 years of age. Although the characteristic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) involve motor functions such as tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and loss of postural reflex, there are other neurological and psychiatric symptoms present in later [… Read More]
Parkinson’s disease can be very demanding on the caregivers, especially in the end stages of Parkinson’s disease, when the patient is wheelchair bound or absolutely bedridden. This is the time when extra precautions have to be taken to prevent bedsore formation. Bedsores (also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers) can be extremely painful and usually develop as a result of prolonged immobilization. It is better to take precautions to prevent bedsore formation because once they develop they can progress very fast and then become extremely difficult to heal.
Due to the progressive loss of muscle control – both voluntary and involuntary – many other symptoms can develop in a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease besides the typical symptoms of tremor and rigidity. Dysphagia is one such symptom. Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing is a common problem in people with Parkinson’s disease which can have far-reaching consequences. Dysphagia can lead to shorter survival time in a patient with Parkinson’s disease, not only because the affected muscles of the throat may make swallowing difficult – hence less food intake and increased chances of under-nutrition of the patient – but also because it increases the possibility of aspiration pneumonia.
There are innumerable minor, but nonetheless quite distressing, symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, with skin problems being one of them. Some of these skin problems may be due to the disease itself although drug therapy for Parkinson’s disease is often responsible. While the side effects of these medicines do cause significant distress at times, it is important to note that the drugs are essential in managing Parkinson’s disease and should not be stopped or changed without your doctor’s approval.
Although tremor and rigidity are the typical symptoms of a patient with Parkinson’s disease, eye problems are quite common too, and are important because they can interfere with the quality of life of a person. When faced with eye disorders or vision problems in patients with Parkinson’s disease, it is important to bear in mind that some of these conditions may not be related to Parkinson’s. Old age, poor eyesight, complication from other chronic conditions, like diabetes, may impact on the eyesight in any person, even when Parkinson’s disease is not present.
Speech problem or difficulty in speaking (dysarthria) is one of the most common symptoms that develop in a patient with Parkinson’s disease besides the major symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement and loss of postural reflexes. It is estimated that about 60 to 90 percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease have difficulty with their speech, which may take various forms such as a soft, monotonous, or slurred speech, speaking too fast or repeating words, or sometimes hesitating before speaking. Problems with speech can be due to reduced movement of the muscles involved in breathing, talking and voice intonation as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
Weight loss is common in Parkinson’s disease but the exact cause may not always be obvious as it can occur both in the early or late stage of the disease. The basic problem leading to weight loss is that the calorie intake through food is less than the calories used up through hyperkinetic movements, such as tremors. The need for a sufficient calorie intake through a healthy and balanced diet for a person with Parkinson’s disease is essential to prevent significant weight loss.
Hypersalivation or excessive secretion of saliva is a symptom which can be very distressing for a person, and more so in a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease, who already has to cope with so many other problems caused by the disease. Hypersalivation, leading to drooling, can be a manifestation of the condition or it can be due to drug therapy in Parkinson’s disease. There are various other causes for excessive salivation which may be superimposed in a person already suffering from Parkinson’s disease.