Contributed by: Anjali Sharma
A lack of dopamine causes Parkinson’s disease, a neurological movement condition. Dopamine’s job is to communicate with areas of your brain responsible for coordination and movement.
Initial symptoms are mild, but as the illness worsens, they can significantly interfere with your daily activities. The illness often strikes in middle or later life, often when a person is 60 or older.
What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a medical condition in which part of your brain deteriorates, causing more severe symptoms over time.
This disorder can have a wide range of additional consequences on your senses, cognitive abilities, mental health, and more. It is most recognized for how it impairs muscle coordination, balance and movement.
How does Parkinson’s condition affect the body?
Parkinson’s disease damages the basal ganglia in your brain. Degrading this area will cause you to lose power in previously controlled areas. Researchers have discovered that Parkinson’s disease significantly changes your brain chemistry.
Neurotransmitters are substances that your brain normally uses to control how brain cells (neurons) communicate with each other. People with Parkinson’s disease have a deficiency of the most prominent neurotransmitter, dopamine.
Your brain uses the cells that need dopamine to fine-tune your movements when it delivers activation signals that instruct your muscles to move. Because of this, the lack of dopamine causes symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremors and reduced movements.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease worsen and increase as the condition worsens. Later stages of the disease usually affect how your brain works, causing dementia-like symptoms and sadness.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?
- Tremors in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
- Muscle stiffness, where the muscles are contracted for a long time
- Slowness of movement
- Slow movements (bradykinesia)
- Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls
Tremors in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
When the muscle is at rest. About 80% of people with Parkinson’s disease experience this regular twitching of their muscles, even when they are not actively moving.
Essential tremors, which rarely occur when the muscles are at rest, are different from resting tremors.
Muscle stiffness, where the muscles are contracted for a long time
Parkinson’s disease usually manifests as cogwheel and lead-pipe rigidity. When moving a physical element, lead-pipe stiffness refers to a consistent, irreversible stiffness.
The vibration and the rigidity of the lead-pipe together stiffen the cogwheel. Its moniker results from its jerky, stop-and-go appearance.
Slowness of movement
You must experience this symptom to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Those who share it describe their muscles as weak, although there is really no loss of strength; Instead, it is caused by problems with muscle control.
Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls
Parkinson’s disease causes loss of balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls, resulting in a slouched or stooped posture. It often manifests as the illness worsens.
When walking, a person with it will take short, shuffling steps and use their arms less. While moving, turning may require multiple steps.
What causes Parkinson’s disease?
The substantia nigra, an area of the brain, loses nerve cells, causing Parkinson’s disease.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced by nerve cells in this area of the brain.
Dopamine acts as a messenger between areas of the brain and nervous system that help control and coordinate bodily movements.
When these nerve cells are damaged or injured, dopamine levels in the brain decrease.
This indicates that the area of the brain responsible for directing movement cannot function as it should, resulting in abnormally sluggish and slow movements.
Stages of Parkinson’s disease
The serious effects of Parkinson’s disease can take years or even decades to develop.
Here are the stages:
Parkinson’s disease stage 1: the mildest form of the disease
Stage 1 is the first stage of Parkinson’s disease. Patients may experience mild symptoms in stage 1; However, these symptoms are not severe enough to interfere with daily activities or a person’s lifestyle. In fact, early symptoms are so subtle that both patients and physicians often fail to notice them.
In these situations, doctors provide medications that effectively reduce symptoms and enable patients to lead a normal life.
Parkinson’s disease stage 2: moderate form
Parkinson’s disease is present in its moderate form in stage 2, and its symptoms are markedly more severe than those present in stage 1. This means that issues with tremors, stiffness and tremors become apparent and numerous facial expression changes occur.
Although muscle stiffness delays the performance of any task, stage 2 never impairs balance. Instead, patients may experience walking problems and postural changes. Another important aspect of the second stage of the issue is that in this stage the person has symptoms on both sides of the body as well as some speech problems.
Parkinson’s disease stage 3: The middle stage of the problem
This stage represents an intermediate stage of Parkinson’s disease as it represents a significant change in the course of the disease. Although the symptoms of stages 2 and 3 are mostly the same, stage 3 is when you may start to lose your body balance and weaken reflexes.
Your whole body starts to move more slowly. Because of this, the problem greatly affects its third stage and still enables them to perform their daily duties.
Parkinson’s disease stage 4: Needs assistive devices for physical movement
When a person moves from stage 3 to stage 4 Parkinson’s disease, their independence changes. Even if a person with stage 4 Parkinson’s disease is able to stand on their own, they still need assistance, especially a walker, to get around without problems.
During stage 4 of Parkinson’s disease, most people cannot stand alone due to severe reductions in their physical movement and reaction time. According to medical professionals, people with stage 4 Parkinson’s disease who live alone will not be able to carry out their daily responsibilities.
Parkinson’s disease stage 5: Advanced stage of the problem
The final and most severe stage of Parkinson’s disease is stage 5. Stiffness of advanced muscles in the legs can cause a person to develop stiffness while standing, which prevents the patient from being able to walk or stand.
As a result, people in Stage 5 use wheelchairs because they are usually unable to stand independently. In addition, these patients require round-the-clock nursing care to avoid falls.
What tests will be done to detect Parkinson’s disease?
Many imaging and diagnostic tests are available when doctors suspect Parkinson’s disease or want to rule out other illnesses. This consists of
- A blood test (can help rule out other forms of Parkinsonism).
- CT Scan (Computerized Tomography)
- genetic testing
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
Parkinson’s disease treatment and medication
Direct therapy and symptomatic treatment are two types of medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Direct therapies follow after Parkinson’s disease. Treatment for symptoms only addresses the consequences of certain illnesses.
Doctors may also recommend other medications to treat Parkinson’s symptoms, such as:
- Dopamine agonists increase the brain’s production of dopamine
- By slowing the enzymes that break down dopamine in the brain, enzyme inhibitors (such as MAO-B inhibitors and COMT inhibitors) can increase the amount of dopamine in the body.
- Amantadine to reduce involuntary movements
- Anticholinergic drugs to reduce muscle stiffness and tremors
The type of therapy used, the extent of the condition, and other factors have a significant impact on how long it takes to recover and experience the results of Parkinson’s disease therapy.
The best person to give you more information about what to expect from therapy is your healthcare practitioner. They may consider any special factors that may change your experience when providing information to you.
Here we have explained in depth about what is Parkinson’s disease, what causes Parkinson’s disease and how to prevent Parkinson’s disease, stages of Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s disease treatment and medications.
Additionally, you should undergo preventive health checkups. These health tests give a complete report on your health, allowing you to take necessary precautions to improve your health and ward off many illnesses.
Book a full body wellness exam today!
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