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disease and Treatment ways

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also causes stiffness or slow movement.

In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft and slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications might significantly improve your symptoms. Occasionally surgery may be indicated to regulate certain regions of your brain and improve your symptoms.


Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. Early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tremor. A tremor, or shaking usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremor when it’s at rest.
  • Slowed movement. Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. You may have trouble getting out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
  • Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. That can be painful and limit your range of motion.
  • You have impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped or you may have balance problems.
  • Loss of automatic movements. You may have decreased ability to perform movements such as blinking, smiling or swinging your arms while walking.
  • Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, or slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech could also become monotone.
  • Writing changes. You may have difficulty writing and your writing may appear small.


In Parkinson’s disease, certain nerve cells ( neurons ) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of these symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger called dopamine. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role, including:

  • Your genes. Researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that can cause Parkinson’s.
  • Environmental triggers. Exposure to certain toxins or environmental factors may increase the risk of later Parkinson’s, but the risk is relatively small.


  • Age. The risk of Parkinson’s increases with age. It ordinarily begins in the middle or late life. People usually develop the disease around 60 or older, but Michael J. Fox is a good example of a person getting it at a rather young age.
  • Heredity. Having a close relative with Parkinson’s disease increases the chances that you’ll develop the disease. However, your risks are still small unless you have many relatives in your family with Parkinson’s.
  • Gender. Men are more likely than women to develop Parkinson’s.
  • Exposure to toxins. Ongoing exposure to herbicides and pesticides may significantly increase your risk.


  • Thinking difficulties. You may experience dementia and thinking difficulties in the later stages of the disease.
  • Depression and emotional changes include fear, anxiety, or loss of motivation.
  • Swallowing problems. Saliva may accumulate in your mouth due to slowed swallowing, leading to drooling.
  • Sleep problems and sleep disorders. These can include waking up frequently during the night, waking up early, or falling asleep during the day.
  • Bladder problems such as inability to control urine or having difficulty urinating.
  • Constipation due to a slower digestive tract.

You may also experience:

  • Blood pressure changes such as dizziness and lightheadedness when you stand.
  • Smell dysfunction. You may have difficulty identifying certain odors.
  • Fatigue or pain
  • Sexual dysfunction. Decrease in sexual desire or performance.


No specific tests exist to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. A Neurologist will diagnose Parkinson’s based on your medical history, a review of your signs and symptoms, and a complete neurological and physical exam. Blood tests and certain types of imaging can rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms, but imaging tests aren’t particularly helpful for diagnosing Parkinson’s.

In addition to your exam, your doctor may give you a medication such as Sinemet which is a Parkinson’s medication. If you show significant improvement with this medication, it will often confirm your diagnosis of Parkinson’s.


Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, but medications can help control your symptoms, often dramatically. Your doctor may also suggest aerobic exercise, physical therapy, stretching, and speech therapy.


There are several different types of medications that may help you manage problems with walking, movement, and tremor. These medications increase or substitute for dopamine. People with Parkinson’s have low brain dopamine concentrations. However, dopamine can’t be given directly, as it can’t enter your brain. Levodopa is the most effective Parkinson’s medication. It’s a natural chemical that passes into your brain and is converted to dopamine. It is combined with carbidopa which protects levodopa from early conversion to dopamine outside your brain. This lessens side effects such as nausea.

Surgical procedures such as the insertion of deep brain stimulators can also be used but most often in people with advanced Parkinson’s who have unstable medication responses.

You should see your doctor if you have any of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s – not only to diagnose your condition but also to rule out other causes for your symptoms. Parkinson’s can be profoundly frustrating as walking, talking, and even eating become more difficult and time-consuming. Depression is also common and your doctor can prescribe antidepressants if necessary. You may also consider Parkinson’s support groups which your doctor can discuss with you as well.

If you’ve received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, you’ll need to work closely with your doctor to find a treatment plan that offers you the most significant relief for symptoms with the fewest side effects. Certain lifestyle changes may help make living with Parkinson’s easier.

A Note from the Parish Health Ministry

Over the past three years, the Parish Health Ministry has been committed to helping you take care of your body, a gift from God. Each month, I have shared important information to help educate and inform you through Heart-to-Heart, and I have been moved by how many of you have told me how helpful this ministry has been for you. As we consider ways to continue to serve our parish’s health and well-being, we have decided to take a hiatus from Heart-to-Heart. Please feel free to give us your feedback and let us know how we can continue to help your mind, body, and spirit.


Most people with Parkinson’s disease are treated with medication, although a type of surgery called deep brain stimulation is used in some cases.

This surgery is also available in specialist neuroscience centers around the UK, but it’s not suitable for everyone.

If surgery is being considered, your specialist will discuss the possible risks and benefits with you.

Treating additional symptoms

As well as the main symptoms of movement problems, people with Parkinson’s disease can experience a wide range of additional symptoms that may need to be treated separately.

These include:

  • depression and anxiety – this can be treated with self-care measures such as exercise, psychological therapy, or medication; read more about treating depression and treating anxiety
  • problems sleeping (insomnia) – this can be improved by making changes to your normal bedtime routine; read more about treating insomnia
  • erectile dysfunction – this can be treated with medication; read more about treating erectile dysfunction
  • excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) – this can be reduced using a prescription antiperspirant, or surgery in severe cases; read more about treating hyperhidrosis
  • swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) – this can be improved by eating softened food, or by using a feeding tube in more severe cases; read more about treating dysphagia
  • excessive drooling – this can be improved with swallowing exercises, surgery or medication in severe cases
  • urinary incontinence – this can be treated with exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, medication, or surgery in severe cases; read more about treating urinary incontinence
  • dementia – this can be treated with cognitive therapies and medication in some cases; read more about treating dementia

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