Parkinson ’s Disease

Posted -

 

It’s unfortunately quite likely that you know someone suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It can be a daily struggle both of those with the disease and their loved ones. Learn more about this widespread problem affecting millions of people around the world.

This article is sponsored by the Broward College North Campus Psychology Club who happened to do a fundraising event for such a great cause as Parkinson’s disease.

What is Parkinson’s disease? A disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and causes tremors, poor coordination, and problems walking and moving.

Affects approximately 1 in 300 people and 4 million people in the Western World.

Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, but there are many treatments available.

Parkinson’s breaks down the nerves that produce dopamine and as dopamine levels decrease control over, movement suffers.

Causes and Risk Factors: No one knows for sure what causes Parkinson’s disease and clearly both sexes and all races are affected.

Scientists have identified abnormal genes that may lead to Parkinson’s in some people, but there is no solid proof to show it is always inherited.

Parkinson’s commonly develops after age 50, and only 5% of people with Parkinson’s are younger than 40. Therefore, by age 80, 1 in 50 have developed signs of Parkinson’s disease.

Other risk factors include….

  • Rural living, agricultural work, and exposure to pesticides and herbicides.

  • Impaired sense of smell, obsessive personality or severe emotional trauma.

  • Genetic factors or family history. People with an active gene called alpha syncline have a 1.5 times greater risk.

Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease because they’re more likely to experience head injury or exposure to toxins.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s:

  • Slow blinking

  • No facial expression

  • Drooling

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Shaking tremors

  • Loss of small or fine hand movements

  • Memory loss, dementia

  • Anxiety, depression

  • Hallucinations

  • Stopped posture

  • Aches and pains

  • Constipation

  • Problems with balance or walking

Parkinson’s Treatment: There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, most treatment is used to control symptoms.

Medications to treat movement – related symptoms:

  • Amantadine or anticholinergic medications to reduce early or mild tremors

  • Levodopa, Sinemet, levodopa and carbidopa

  • Pramipexole, ropinirole, bromocriptine

  • Selgilne, rasagiline

Other medications:

  • Antidepressants for mood disorders

  • For cognitive difficulties: memantine, rivastigmine, galantamine

  • For pain: gabapentin, duloxetine

Lifestyle changes that may help:

  • Healthy nutrition

  • Regular sleep schedule and reduced stress

  • Physical, speech, and occupational therapy

  • Exercise

Surgery:

  • Brain surgery to destroy part of the brain that causes Parkinson’s

  • Deep brain stimulation, placing electrical stimulation in areas of the brain that control movement

  • Stem cell transplants (still being researched)

Hope for the Future….the world’s first Parkinson’s disease vaccination, PD01A, is entering clinical trials June 12th at it being some point. Which stimulates the production of antibodies against the gene known to cause Parkinson’s.

The incidence of Parkinson’s is estimated to increase to 9 million by 2030. This vaccine hopes to fight that number by protecting future generations from Parkinson’s disease.

 

 

About The Author

I like to read, hangout with friends, and just take life into account to make it worthwhile no matter how much how crazy it seems.

Editor's Note

Are you an aspiring journalist or just looking for an outlet where you can share your voice? Apply to write for Her Campus!

User login