Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Regardless of all the research that has looked into Parkinson’s, it’s a disease without a cure at this point in time. Parkinson’s is a non-contagious degenerative brain condition connected with a high rate of cellular loss of dopamine-secreting cells. A particular problem is the fact that a defined biomarker for the condition has still not been found. This means that diagnosing the condition can only be accomplished through observing a person’s symptoms and by a process of elimination, through ruling out other disorders whose symptoms resemble Parkinson’s. This may include discounting numerous other neurological conditions such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, brain tumours, Alzheimer’s disease or psychiatric disorders, medication side effects and atypical Parkinsonian, including Multiple System Atrophy.

Parkinson’s early signs may often be overlooked or passed off as being brought about by a range of minor maladies. For instance, the person may feel weary, aching and generally ‘out of sorts’; even a doctor during this stage may not recognize Parkinson’s as a possible candidate. It is once signs or symptoms persist and become more apparent that investigations are usually instigated to unravel the underlying cause.

Diagnosis initially should involve discounting the possibility of bacterial or viral infection, diabetes or glandular conditions and the possibility of cancer through carrying out blood and urine tests. If the person should begin to encounter some of the more common signs or symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, they will probably be referred to a specialist for further assessment. Diagnosis by a neurologist will involve reviewing the individuals’ medical history, undertaking a neurological check up and conducting various blood, urine and brain scan tests. Features of Parkinson’s disease include a lack of dopamine in the brain and reduced norepinephrine levels.

The classic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include slow movements, increasing muscle rigidity, tremor and at the advanced stages of the condition, balance problems. A variety of other symptoms can develop such as issues to do with sleep patterns, speech, urination problems or constipation, changes in perception and diminished unconscious acts including the vacant stare or Parkinson’s mask. Additionally, the persons mental well being is often affected manifesting in an increased risk of anxiety, antisocial behaviour and depression. Cognitive disturbances that affect concentration, mental agility, visuospatial awareness affect a notable proportion of patients and approximately 20% will go on to develop Parkinson’s dementia.

Even though the underlying mechanism and cause of the condition continue to be not fully understood, factors such as age, gender, race, genetics and environmental variables including pesticides, herbicides and other toxins, viruses and bacteria may all prove associated to some extent regarding the chance of developing the condition. We can declare that although the data is far from complete right now and research do sometimes deviate in conclusion, it’s a disease that is complex in nature and whose risk goes up with age. On this note and rather unexpectedly, it would appear people with high cholesterol or who smoke or drink coffee on a regular basis, have a lower risk of going on to develop Parkinson’s. Also, Parkinson’s diagnosis in comparatively unknown in the extreme old age category over age one hundred.

A variety of systems have been formulated to categorize the development of Parkinson’s and from late nineteen-eighties, the three that are in most widespread use include the Hoelm and Yahr, Schwab and England, and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. As the disease advances, involuntary movements become progressively problematic. Although not terminal in itself, death is usually connected with secondary complications from strokes, falling over, septicemia and pneumonia.

Medical care of Parkinson’s disease involves continual monitoring in order to adapt to the changing symptoms and to control these effects. The use of pharmaceuticals may include Levodopa, Anticholinergenics, COMT inhibitors, Dopamine Agonists as well as NMDA blockers, MAO B Inhibitors and possibly new and somewhat developmental drugs for the condition, such as Riluzole. In addition, an overall process that features various therapies and nutritional considerations may be employed, as well as the possibility of deep brain stimulation through a surgical implant may be considered based on medical necessity.

A newer alternative to using these drugs is the use of CBD oil to treat the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Learn more about that on the site of Medical Marijuana Inc., one of the biggest distributors of the product.

Research into Parkinson’s continues on a worldwide basis and significant advances have been made over the last decade. Searching for a biomarker moves on apace as does growing interest looking at the cellular level involving stem cell therapy and genetic engineering. A variety new drugs are undergoing trials and re-evaluation of existing drugs and therapies to boost their effectiveness continues on an ongoing basis. If one considers that we’re entering a period of an extraordinary increase in the global population size, a constantly upward path for life expectancy plus an increasingly aged population, the number of Parkinson’s disease patients will increase greatly in the foreseeable future. Apart from the impact of the condition on a personal level as experienced by the patients, carers and loved ones of Parkinson’s disease, there’ll be an ever-increasing financial cost to the taxpayer. The motivation for developing a cure for Parkinson’s disease has and thus never been more urgent.

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Jesus Rayl

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