Parkinsons Disease: What is it?
Parkinsons is a disease of the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal chord. Parkinsons is widely known as a movement disorder. The chemical substance that carries messages to the brain that tells the body when and how to move is called dopamine. When the brain cells that produces this chemical substance dies, Parkinsons disease results.
Symptoms of Parkinsons Disease
Various movement problems are present in patients that have Parkinsons Disease. Overtime these movements gradually worsen, rendering the patient virtually helpless. Some common symptoms are:
Stiffness of limbs
Causes of Parkinsons Disease
Up until this point, there are only clues to show that Parkinsons Disease is caused by multiple factors. These factors may be genetically induced or by environmental influences such as found in herbicides and pesticides. Some even suggest that the substantial loss of dopamine (80%) found in Parkinsons patients causing nerve cells to fire out of control as being a contributing factor.
Treatment of Parkinsons Disease
There are currently no cures for Parkinsons Disease, only medications that relieve the symptoms of those suffering with Parkinsons. Since the dopamine is found to be missing, most of these medications serve as a manufactured replacement. Medications however are unable to stop the progression of Parkinsons, yet it can for some, help in their continuing with their daily lives.
New Developments in Parkinsons Disease
It seems that in 3% of Parkinsons cases a single gene is responsible for its appearance. This gene is called Alpha-Synuclein. Alpha-Synuclein is a protein that carries out many important functions in the body and brain, but when negative forces pops up, important functions are interrupted. This interruption can contribute to the development of the movement impairing disorder of Parkinsons. Though Alpha-Synuclein is not the single factor in all Parkinsons patients, it is a key piece to the puzzle.
Daily Living with Parkinsons Disease
Those with Parkinsons Disease may notice themselves slowing down and daily activities become more and more difficult to carry out. It is very import not to give up on moving around, keep a positive attitude and an active daily routine, a few ways of doing that are:
Maintaining a healthy diet
Exercising daily as much as possible
Keep social interactions going
Therapy – either holistic or physical
Continue to stay active and work as long as you possibly can
Living with Parkinsons Disease can become a daily struggle. The very things that most of us take for granted become a challenge for those suffering with Parkinsons Disease. Little things such as buttoning shirts or putting on a pair of socks becomes a major challenge which could lead to daily frustrations. Just trying to sit down in a chair or get up out of a chair or even walking becomes difficult. Speech is also affected sometimes even to the point of becoming inaudible. Trying to write is also difficult because as the disease progresses writing become smaller and smaller until the characters are not distinct enough to be read. Living with Parkinsons Disease is in deed a daily struggle, but with the right attitude, good support system and therapies, many are fighting the battle bravely.