The early stages of this disease can be noticed when the person shows none or little emotion with their face or the legs and arms do not swing while walking. Additionally, the person who suffers from this condition will show signs of soft or slurred speech. This later worsens and progresses over time.
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Parkinson’s Disease Treatment and Cure
When speaking of Parkinson’s treatment, there is no Parkinson’s disease cure known so far. However, certain medications have shown to improve the symptoms in some cases. Additionally, a doctor may even suggest a surgery in cases where certain brain regions can be regulated in order to improve the symptoms of the disease.
Risk Factors of Parkinson’s disease
The risk factors of this condition include:
Having a relative in the family that suffers from this disease makes it slightly more likely for another person in the family to develop it. The chances are much higher if more people in the family suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
The most commonly affected group are adults over 60 since Parkinson’s ordinarily appears in late life. The risk may appear in young adults too, but is known to increase with age.
Men are more prone to developing this disease than women.
- Toxins exposure
Exposure to pesticides and herbicides may lead to development of Parkinson’s disease.
Complications from Parkinson’s disease
There are certain problems that often accompany this condition such as:
- Thinking problems
A person suffering from this disease may experience dementia and thinking difficulties, especially in the later stages of Parkinson’s. This complication is not very responsive to medications that are available today.
- Swallowing problems
As the condition progresses, the patient may develop swallowing problems, due to the saliva accumulating in the mouth.
- Emotional changes
Since there is only treatment for Parkinson’s disease and not a cure, many people with this disease may experience emotional changes, even depression. The challenges of this condition can be treated more easily if the patient receives regular depression treatment.
- Sleep disorders
People with Parkinson’s disease may have sleep problems and disorders. It often occurs that they wake up in the middle of the night or fall asleep during the day. Additionally, there are disorders such as eye movement while sleeping or acting out dreams. There are medications that can help with this kind of complication.
- Bladder problems
Parkinson’s disease may cause bladder problems such as difficulty urinating or even complete loss of urine control.
- Blood pressure changes
There may occur a sudden drop in blood pressure called orthostatic hypotension.
The digestive tract is slower in patients suffering from this disease, so they may develop constipation.
People with this disease experience energy loss and fatigue.
Pain is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease and can occur either in specific body part or throughout the entire body.
- Smell dysfunction
The sense of smell can be ruined partially or completely. A patient may have difficulty to identify a smell or identify difference between certain odors.
Treatment of Parkinson’s disease
There is no Parkinson’s cure, but there are certain medications known to control the symptoms. Additionally, there are certain surgeries that can be performed in some cases.
Aerobic exercise is commonly recommended in these cases, as well as other lifestyle changes. In some cases, balancing physical therapy is also a crucial part of the treatment process. If one is suffering from speech problems, a speech-language pathologist may be able to help.
Medications for Parkinson’s disease
Problems with movement and tremor may be managed with medications that increase or substitute the decreased amounts of dopamine in the brain. Since the patients with Parkinson’s disease have low dopamine concentrations in the brain, these medications are known to help. However, dopamine cannot be administered directly in the brain.
Treatment may lead to significant improvements in health, but medications often diminish or become less consistent with time. However, most of the symptoms can usually be fairly well-controlled throughout the entire disease progress.
The medications for Parkinson’s disease include:
- Carbidopa-levodopa is known to be the most effective medication so far. This is a natural chemical that converts into dopamine after passing into the brain of the patient. It is a combination of Rytary and Sinemet, which protects the levodopa from premature conversion prior to entering the brain. Side effects include nausea or lightheadedness.
- Carbidopa-levodopa infusion is a drug approved in 2015, made up of both carbidopa and levodopa. It is administered with the help of a feeding tube and the medication is in the form of gel that targets the small intestine.
This medication is also called duopa and is most commonly used with more advanced Parkinson’s cases. The placement of the tube requires a minor surgical procedure.
- Dopamine agonists do not change into dopamine but mimic its effects into the brain. They are not as effective as levodopa, but last longer and can be used in combination with it in order to smooth the effect.
- MAO-B inhibitors include Eldepryl, Zelapar and Azilect and help prevent the breakdown of dopamine in the brain. They do this by inhibiting the enzyme called monoamine oxidase which metabolizes dopamine in the brain. There are certain side effects such as nausea and insomnia that may occur as a result. If combine with leveodopa, there is an increased risk of hallucinations.
- Anticholinergics are used to help control the tremor of Parkinson’s disease. There are several such medications available, such as benztropine or trihexyphenidyl. Some side effects include impaired memory, hallucinations, constipation, impaired urination and dry mouth.
- Amantadine provides short-term relief or the early-stage symptoms of this disease and can be given in combination with levodopa in order to control involuntary movements that levodopa may induce. Some side effects from it are ankle swelling and hallucinations.
Surgery for Parkinson’s Disease
Another alternative to the non-existing Parkinson’s cure are surgical procedures that may help the process of handling this disease.
- Deep brain stimulation
In this surgery, the doctor implants electrodes into the brain of the patient. These are connected to a chest implanted generator that sends electrical pulses to the brain and reduces the symptoms of the disease.
There are certain risks from the surgical procedure such as stroke, brain hemorrhage and infections. Additionally, there are patients that experience DBS system problems, so some parts of the system are often replaced.
This surgical procedure is often performed on people who suffer from advanced Parkinson’s disease and for which the medication have become less stable and effective. DBS stabilizes the fluctuations of the medication and reduces the involuntary movements in patients. Additionally, it is known to control fluctuating responses to levodopa and controlling dyskinesias that no longer improve with medications.
Apart from tremor, DBS cannot really help with other problems that no longer respond to levodopa therapy. It may provide a partial benefit for the symptoms, but cannot be seen as a cure for Parkinson’s disease progressing.
If you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a sole Parkinson’s disease treatment is not sufficient. You will then need to regularly work closely with an expert to adjust the treatment plan to what best fits your particular condition. The doctor will help you adjust your lifestyle to make the living with this disease an easier task.
- Healthy nutrition
Some foods have proven to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as foods rich in fiber and increased dosage of fluids. Additionally, the balanced diet should include nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Another home Parkinson’s treatment is exercising. This is known to increase flexibility, balance and muscle strength. Additionally it may improve well-being and is known to reduce depression.
The cause of Parkinson’s disease is still unknown and there is no known Parkinson’s disease cure just yet. Therefore, a patient that suffers from this disease may always try out newest research results and implement them into their daily care. There are certain researchers that have proved caffeine, tea and cola are good for reducing the risk of developing this disease.