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

First Signs and Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system which involves the loss of the dopaminergic neurones in the substantia nigra region of the brain and affects millions of people worldwide. This part of the brain is rich in dopaminergic neurons. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter that is responsible for the transmission of signals from one part of the brain to another. It thereby helps in the muscular control and coordination of the body. Loss of the dopaminergic neurons lead to the deficiency of dopamine and hence various motor symptoms of the Parkinson’s disease manifest, which continue and worsen over time. There is no definitive line of diagnosis or management for the Parkinson’s disease. The diagnosis is usually based on the neurological clinical examination conducted by a knowledgeable and experienced [… Read More]

nervous system - brain and nerves

Brain Functioning and Personality Changes in Parkinson’s Disease

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]

Living with Parkinson's

Dental Diseases and Oral Health in Parkinson’s Patients

The chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease occurs due to dopamine deficiency and represents a constellation of continually debilitating symptoms. While the symptoms might range from premotor to motor effects, i.e. from constipation, sleep disturbances, olfactory and gustatory loss to tremors, stiffness, dyskinesia followed by a loss over muscle control and coordination. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, many other symptoms and problems start developing, some due to the disease process itself and others due to the effects of natural aging. Of these, dental diseases and the problems associated with them need to be tackled as soon as possible so as to make the patient’s life more comfortable. The dental problems arise mainly because of the nature of Parkinson’s and some of the medications used to treat the condition. Also the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease makes [… Read More]

Sleep Apnea
Living with Parkinson's

Breathing Problems in Parkinson’s Disease

Normal aging should not cause breathing difficulty and people with Parkinson’s disease, although mostly elderly, should not have breathing problems unless there is some underlying cause. Getting out of breath on undertaking unaccustomed exercise is not really a cause for concern. It is quite possible, however, for a person with Parkinson’s disease to also suffer from some pre-existing lung or heart condition which may cause some amount of breathing difficulty. If shortness of breath, wheezing, cough or chest discomfort does develop, even without a known medical problem, careful assessment and treatment is definitely indicated.

chest pain acid reflux
Living with Parkinson's

Acid Reflux, GERD, Heartburn in Parkinson’s Disease

Acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or just simple heartburn occurs quite frequently in many people, but Parkinson’s disease patients seem to be more prone to developing this condition. There are a number of reasons why this is so. How Does Acid Reflux Occur? When food is swallowed, it moves down through the esophagus (food pipe) into the stomach. The esophageal sphincter, situated between the esophagus and the stomach, opens to allow this action to take place and closes back again so that the food does not go back into the esophagus. In this way, the esophageal sphincter acts as a one way-valve.

Food eating difficult swallowing
Effects of Parkinson's Disease

Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia) in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

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.

physical therapist
Living with Parkinson's

Atrophy in Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease patients, especially in the end stages of the disease, often have a significant amount of muscle atrophy. This muscle wasting or loss of muscle tissue could be due to reduced physical activity because of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or if bedridden. Added to the reduced or lack of physical activity, an additional factor to take into account is that Parkinson’s disease is in most cases a disease of old age, a period of life where some amount of normal muscle wasting is to be expected. Physiotherapy and a home exercise program for Parkinson’s patients do help to prevent this muscle atrophy to a certain extent. Apart from muscle atrophy, some amount of cerebral or brain atrophy is also to be expected in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, which is in excess to [… Read More]

No Picture
Effects of Parkinson's Disease

Skin Diseases & Irritation in Parkinson’s Disease

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.

No Picture
Effects of Parkinson's Disease

Eye Disorders & Vision Problems in Parkinson’s Disease

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.