Parkinson disease effects close to 1 million individuals in the United States. Every year about 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson each year. Making this brain disease a close contender to Alzheimer’s, ranking in 2nd for the most common brain disease in adults aged 50 and older. For this fact, many people can confuse the two as they are both brain disease with similar symptoms. What many don’t realize is that they are very different disease and each person effected by Parkinson’s Disease all have very different symptoms. In this blog we will help you break down what is Parkinson’s disease and common misconceptions people have around the disease.
A common symptom of Parkinson’s Disease according to Parkinsons.org are tremors. This disease is categorized as a movement disorder Bradykinesia, the slowness in movement plus either tremor or stiffness must be present for a PD diagnosis to be considered.” . What doctors believe that causes an individual to have problems with these are the dopamine in our brain. The dopamine is responsible for controlling movement, emotional responses and the ability to feel pleasure and pain. With PD the brain cells that create dopamine are impaired and damaged, leading your brain to stop producing dopamine cells. (Parkinsons.org)
In addition to movement symptoms Parkinson’s disease has many symptoms that can affect a person health and may be the first signs you may notice. Here is a list of some important non-motor symptoms in an individual with Parkinson’s Disease (Parkinson.org):
- Loss sense of smell
- Difficulty swallowing or excessive salvation
- Slowed, quieter speech, and monotone voice
- Cognitive changes: problems with attention, language, memory loss or even dementia
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Sleep disorders: such as insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness or vivid dreams
- Mood disorders: such as depression, anxiety, apathy and irritability
There is no standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Treatment for each person with Parkinson’s is based on his or her symptoms.
Treatments include medication, which can’t and won’t stop the symptoms but will ease the symptoms you are going through so you can continue living comfortably. Surgical therapy is also an option and only given when medication have not helped with any symptoms. Other treatments include lifestyle changes, like getting more rest, diet and nutrition and exercise.
These treatments are not in any way cures for the disease as there are many contributing factors that causes PD, two being genetics and environmental stress. With PD there is no clear exposure we can point to the disease, but as genetics research advances and progresses throughout the future, we can only hope that we can uncover treatment break through.