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]

parkinsons exercise
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]

CT Scan
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]

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]

Blood Extraction
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]

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]

Parkinson's Alternative Treatment

Parkinson’s Disease and Homeopathy

Parkinson’s disease is a gradually progressive neurodegenerative disorder manifested by the loss of dopamine producing neurons in the nigro-striatal region of the brain. Dopamine is a chemical messenger of the brain, and the lack of this neurotransmitter manifests in the form of deficits in the motor functions in the patient’s body. The severely incapacitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia, loss of muscle coordination, frequent falls, freezing of gait and many more.

Nose Smell
Effects of Parkinson's Disease

Loss of Taste and Smell in Parkinson’s Disease

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 FAQ

Risks of Surgery in Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurological degenerative disorder of the central nervous system causing serious disability due to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra region of brain. Surgery may be contemplated in a Parkinson’s disease patient either to control symptoms of the disease or for some cause unrelated to Parkinson’s disease, such as a hip replacement, a broken shoulder or prostate gland removal. The risks associated with surgery need to be analyzed so as to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks and if surgery is justifiable in such patients. Considerations such as age of the patient, type of surgery, and the stage of Parkinson’s disease should be kept in mind before arriving at a decision. Deep brain stimulation is the most common surgical procedure adopted for Parkinson’s Disease. [… Read More]

Parkinson's Disease FAQ

Parkinsonism and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson disease the long-term progressive neurodegenerative disorder primarily affecting the motor area of the brain which is called the substantia nigra. This area of the brain is rich in dopamine producing neurons. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter that is responsible for the transmission of signals from one part of the brain to another and is responsible for the control of movement and coordination. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease continue and worsen over time affecting millions of people all over the world. Currently there is no definite medical or surgical treatment options to completely manage its symptoms. However, the typical motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural instability may also occur in certain other conditions not related to Parkinson’s disease. These symptoms are grouped together under the term “Parkinsonism” [… Read More]