Symptoms of Parkinsons disease are important because these may help the physician confirm the occurrence of the disease.
This disease is said to be the second most typical neurodegenerative disorder among the various identified types. Parkinsons disease is also the most common motor dysfunction disease. The condition is characterized by a gradual loss in the control of the muscles. This disability can give rise to trembling movements of the upper and lower limbs. The heads of these patients are also trembling, especially at rest, accompanied by a slow, stiff, and unsteady gait. Manifestations may worsen as time passes by.
This disease is a condition wherein it primarily affects the neurons or nerve cells. These particular nerve cells affected by Parkinsons disease are located within a specific part of the brain that directs the movements of muscles. In this condition, the neurotransmitter called dopamine is not working properly. This component typically transmits signals that are responsible for coordinating the movements of a person.
The development of this condition may impair numerous individuals. A patient with Parkinsons disease mostly lives a normal and an industrious life while other patients may become debilitated more rapidly than others. Untimely deaths are typically due to complications of the disease like pneumonia and injuries.
Symptoms of Parkinsons disease were already evident in the past decades. The disease was formerly called Kampayata. It is typically managed using the seeds of a particular plant that contain the therapeutic effects of today’s modern treatment, levodopa. This disease was first identified by James Parkinson in 1817.
What are the Causes of Parkinsonism?
A component called dopamine serves as a vehicle to transmit signals between different regions of the brain, the corpus striatum, and the substantia nigra. These components produce even and controlled movements. The majority of movements associated with Parkinsonism are commonly caused by dopamine deficiency. This condition may result from the loss of cells that produce dopamine located in the substantia migra.
When the levels of dopamine decrease, coordination between the corpus striatum and substantia nigra becomes dysfunctional. Malfunctions of structures in the brain will impair the movements of the patient. The severity of symptoms of Parkinsons disease is proportionate to the loss of dopamine in the body. Even though dopamine deficiency causes motor manifestations, the reason why brain cells like dopamine-producing neurons deteriorate is still unclear. Pathological and genetic studies have divulged that numerous malfunctions of cellular processes, stress, and inflammation can all add to cell injury.
Who are the Persons at Risk of Having Parkinsonism?
Age has the largest possibility for the progression and development of Parkinsonism. Most patients with this disorder are elderly and usually older than 60 years of age. Males are commonly affected 1.5-2 times more frequently than females. A few numbers of people have an increased chance of having Parkinsonism due to their family histories of the disease. Head injury or trauma and an exposure to environmental hazards like herbicides and pesticides can also be a contributory factor.
What are the Manifestations of Parkinsonism?
The main manifestations of Parkinsonism are all interrelated to involuntary and voluntary motor movements and typically commence in one portion of the body. Manifestations are initially mild and may develop over time. Some people may be more distressed than other patients. Research has revealed that patients may have lost 60-80 per cent of dopamine-producing nerve cells during the appearance of the main symptoms of the disease. Manifestations of Parkinsonism are characterized by the following:
- Tremors are characterized by trembling of the hands, fingers, arms, legs, feet, jaw, and head. Frequently, tremors can occur while the patient is at rest and resolve when the patient is performing a task. This symptom may get worse when the patient is tired, stressed, or excited.
- Rigidity or stiffness of the trunk and limbs is also one of the symptoms of the disease. This symptom may increase during excessive movements. Rigidity may create muscle pain and aches. The loss of fine hand activities can cause micrographia or cramped handwriting. Rigidity can make eating difficult for the patient.
- Bradykinesia or slow, voluntary movements are part of the various manifestations of Parkinsonism. As time passes by, it may be hard for the patient to begin an activity and to complete an activity. This symptom, together with rigidity, can as well affect facial muscles. A “mask-like” appearance will be the end result of the combination of these two symptoms.
- Postural unsteadiness or the lost of reflexes makes it hard for the patient to adapt a posture to sustain his balance. This symptom may result in falls.
- Parkinsonian bearing is the development of a particular shuffling gait with a blocked position. An absent or diminished arm swing may be evident in these patients. Difficulty to start his movements and to make twists will make the patient feel frustrated. They also appear to lean forward while walking and freeze-up in mid-stride.
Symptoms of Parkinsons disease may vary from one patient to another. It is necessary to recognize these symptoms to be able to manage each of them. Managing these manifestations will help prevent the occurrence of complications.