As per the 2021 survey, Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurological disorder that affects elderly people. The research estimates about 10 million people are suffering from the disease worldwide.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that worsens (rather progresses) with time and age. It is most noticeable in the patient’s change in movement, postures and speech problems in many cases.
The disease predominantly targets the dopamine-producing neurons in the brain resulting in a weaker nervous system and the appearance of various Parkinson’s symptoms.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease progresses in 5 stages and the symptoms vary in each. Some of the common symptoms are mentioned below:
Major Motor Problems
- Frequent trembling of the hands & feet
- Slow body movements
- Loss of body coordination
- Inexplicable stiffness in the arms & legs
- Tendency to fall (without any external factor)
- Stooped posture
- Losing facial expressions
- Changes in voice or speech
- Taking shivering steps while walking
Other Associated Symptoms
- Flaky Skin
- Erratic sleep cycle
- Problem in paying attention
Which doctor to consult for Parkinson’s?
It is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects various functions of the body. Hence, at a later stage of the disease, you may want to consult a physical therapist, speech therapist, mental health therapist, and other specialists. However, people often panic and confuse only tremors or even Alzheimer’s with Parkinson’s. Thus, it is always advisable to consult your general physician first for an accurate diagnosis and then move to other specialists. After the diagnosis, you must consult a general neurologist for better care and treatment
How is Parkinson’s Disease diagnosed?
Sadly, there’s no single test that can determine the prevalence of Parkinson’s in the neurons. If it is suspected the person should be immediately referred to a neurologist to assess movement, patterns, and other nervous system malfunctions in the body.
Proper Diagnosis is usually done after a combination of imaging screenings like— MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), PET (Positron Emission Tomography) or DaTscans.
Is there a permanent cure for Parkinson’s?
There is no permanent cure for Parkinson’s found yet. However, there are treatments available to control the progression of the symptoms.
At first, the combination of drugs and exercise is administered to control the degeneration of dopamine. This aims to control the body motor disorder and other involuntary movements in the body. In addition, certain physical therapy may also be recommended to aid muscle cramps and body stiffness.