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All You Need to Know About Parkinson’s Disease

Several types of brain diseases can occur in people, from Alzheimer's to Dyslexia. However, Parkinson's disease is one of the most serious and has raised several concerns. In this, the brain's basal ganglia suffer from degeneration, thereby hampering both memory power and motor control abilities. 
People with this brain disease suffer from irregular and uncontrollable body movements, including muscle stiffness, improper balance and coordination, and even unintentional tremors. The disease worsens with age, so knowing about Parkinson’s treatment is crucial for everyone. 
In this blog, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, diagnosis process of Parkinson's, and the best treatments offered to reduce the worsening of the symptoms. 

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

•  Tremor - A person suffering from Parkinson’s disease may face slight tremors or shaking of the fingers, hand, or jaw while doing some work or even while at rest.

•  Stiffness - The person may also suffer from stiffness of the limbs and neck instead of normal flexibility.

•  Impaired movement - A Parkinson’s disease patient may find his or her movements slowing down or becoming impaired. Gradually involuntary actions like blinking also decrease. Walking and balance may be affected.

•  Reduced reaction - There may be a reduction in mental skill which leads to a slow or delayed reaction, lack of facial expression, and change in voice.

•  Depression and dementia are associated with Parkinson’s disease.

•  Abnormal posture - A person suffering from Parkinson’s may show a stooped posture instead of a straight one. He or she may have bent elbows, knees, or hips while trying to walk.

•  Lack of sense of smell - Parkinson’s patients often lose the ability to smell food or scents even if they are quite strong.

•  Change in handwriting - Another symptom seen in Parkinson’s patients is the reduced size of handwriting. Gradually, the writing becomes more crowded and reduced in size to the level of becoming illegible.

Nanavati Max Hospital has the most well-known team of Parkinson's Specialist in Mumbai, India.

Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

There is no particular cause known to be responsible for Parkinson’s. Some of the reasons that are thought to cause Parkinson’s disease are genetic factors, aging, environmental damage, and oxidative damage.

Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis

  • No fixed Parkinson’s disease diagnosis method is there.
  • Doctors rely on past health history and neurological symptoms.
  • Single-photon emission computerised tomography is used sometimes.
  • In rare cases, a dopamine transporter scan is suggested.

Parkinson Disease Treatment

Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is possible through a number of tests and detection of the symptoms. Parkinson's treatment includes medicines that can control the symptoms and prevent them from getting worse. However, there is no complete cure for Parkinson’s disease but you may lead a normal life with the help of drugs that keep the symptoms in check. Oral medication is the mainstay of Parkinson's treatment. However, in Advanced Parkinson’s disease, oral medication may become less effective and the patient may need invasive treatment such as Deep Brain Stimulation surgery or infusional therapies like Apomorphine pump therapy for symptom management.  Nanavati Max Hospital is one of the best hospitals in Mumbai, India for advanced Parkinson's Disease treatment and has got the right infrastructure to cater to the needs of Parkinson’s patients to help them lead a normal life. If you are looking for reputed doctors and specialists to treat this Parkinson's disease that may be troubling your family member, your search ends here.

Parkinson's Disease Medical Treatment

 

Levodopa

  • Levodopa is a drug usually administered to treat Parkinson’s disease caused by reduced dopamine.
  • The compound gets absorbed in the nerve cells and then transformed into dopamine.
  • This neurotransmitter facilitates electrical stimulation between the brain and the neurons controlling motor functions of your body.

 

Dopamine Agonists

  • The best Parkinson’s disease treatment is using drugs that can release more dopamine.
  • Carbidopa is often administered along with levodopa to ensure the higher dopamine levels in the neurons won’t affect any other body function.
  • Besides, the agonists facilitate the functions of the neurotransmitter, thereby reducing neural motor coordination.

 

COMT Inhibitors

  • Combined as COMT inhibitors, Entacapone and tolcapone act as the best Parkinson’s treatment form.
  • They inhibit the production of catechol-o-methyl transferase enzyme and reduce peripheral degradation of levodopa. 

 

Selegiline

  • Selegiline controls Parkinson's disease symptoms when the person is already taking levodopa and carbidopa.
  • It increases dopamine release in the brain cells, helping in neural transmission between the brain and motor neurons.
  • It might have side effects like light-headedness, dizziness, dry mouth, and stomach pain.

 

Anticholinergic medications

  • Anticholinergic medications block the harmful activity of acetylcholine neurotransmitters at peripheral and central nervous synapses.
  • Some popular drugs administered for Parkinson’s disease treatment in this category are trihexyphenidyl, biperiden, benztropine, and procyclidine.

 

Amantadine

  • An increased level of levodopa can sometimes induce dyskinesias in patients who have Parkinson's.
  • Amantadine has proven to be the most effective drug in reducing motor neuron problems due to the dyskinesias induced by higher concentrations of levodopa.

 

Surgery

  • In case the medicines fail to treat Parkinson's disease, doctors often prefer to go for surgery.
  • The degenerative ganglia are removed from the brain, which causes Parkinson's in the first place.

 

Pallidotomy

  • Doctors use high-intensity heat and light in pallidotomy to destroy a small part of the globus pallidus.
  • After the surgery, a scar is usually formed due to heat and light.
  • As the affected part of the globus pallidus is removed, tremors and stiffness can be significantly reduced in patients with Parkinson's disease.

 

Thalamotomy

  • The most efficient Parkinson’s treatment is thalamotomy, where a small part of the thalamus is destroyed to reduce tremors.
  • Ideally, the cells that are destroyed during thalamotomy are often termed lesions.

 

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

  • In deep brain stimulation, several tiny electrical wires are placed inside the brain.
  • They help conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain and the motor neurons controlling the involuntary and voluntary activities of the muscles.

 

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies for Parkinson's Disease

 

Healthy eating

  • Eating healthy foods having lots of antioxidants can help treat Parkinson’s disease.
  • It would be better to avoid junk food because it is loaded with trans fat, which does not help with brain activity.

 

Exercise

  • Exercise is the best treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
  • Exercise improves blood circulation and ensures oxygen can flow to the neurons.
  • Furthermore, dopamine levels also increase considerably.

 

Fall Prevention

  • Fall prevention means taking precautions to avoid accidents that might cause injuries to the brain, especially to that part of the cerebrum and cerebellum controlling motor functions.

 

Alternative medicine

  • Taking supplements that increase the Omega levels in the blood, anti-inflammatory components, and so on can also help reduce the chances of Parkinson's disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are three treatments for Parkinson's disease?

Pallidotomy, levodopa, and COMT inhibitors are the three best treatments for Parkinson's disease.

Can Parkinson's disease be treated?

Yes, Parkinson's disease can be treated if diagnosed early and proper medications are administered to increase dopamine levels and reduce the lack of coordination between the brain and the motor neurons.

What is the latest treatment for Parkinson's disease?

The latest treatment for Parkinson's disease is deep brain stimulation, where multiple small wires are inserted to facilitate electrical conduction between the brain and the motor neurons.

What is the first-line treatment for Parkinson's disease?

The first line of treatment for Parkinson's disease is the administration of levodopa and carbidopa to increase dopamine concentration and simulate electrical rush transmission.

How do you stop Parkinson's from progressing?

Positive changes in lifestyle and taking appropriate drugs that can increase dopamine levels and reduce acetylcholine neurotransmitter concentration in the blood can stop Parkinson's disease from progressing.

Is Parkinson's treatable if caught early?

Yes, Parkinson’s disease treatment shows positive results, provided the disease is diagnosed early and fewer cells are affected by it. Surgeries are often required in later stages because the medicines fail to generate the expected response.

What is the test for Parkinson's?

There is no fixed Parkinson's disease diagnosis method. Doctors rely on neurological behaviour and any past health history. However, PET-CT or DTS is sometimes conducted to scan the brain structure.

What are the two likely causes of Parkinson's disease?

Degeneration of the brain's basal ganglia and reduction in the dopamine levels in the blood are the two likely causes of Parkinson's disease.

Can stress cause Parkinson’s?

Yes, stress can lead to Parkinson's because the anti-stress neurotransmitter, dopamine, is not secreted enough to simulate the transfer of electrical impulses from the brain to the motor neurons and vice versa.

Reviewed By

Dr. Pradyumna Oak (Director and Head of Neurology)

Dr Pradyumna Oak is the Director and Head of Neurology with an experience of over 20 years. He has vast experience in Acute Stroke Management & Neuro Intervention. He was Instrumental in setting up State-of-the-art Stroke Unit & Neuro ICU at Nanavati Max Hospital with a door-to-needle time of less than 30 minutes.