Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the body’s motor system. This disease affects the nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls muscle movement. Dopamine is a very important chemical in the brain that is responsible for sending signals that help coordinate the movement of your muscles. When Parkinson’s disease is present, the neurons that are responsible for producing dopamine die. The cause behind the death of these neurons is unknown.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are trembling in the hands, legs, arms, jaw and face. An individual with Parkinson’s disease may also have rigidity of the limbs and the trunk. Another sure sign of Parkinson’s disease is slow movement and being unsteady on your feet.
Many people who have a relative with Parkinson’s disease will find themselves wondering if Parkinson’s is hereditary. Studies have shown that Parkinson’s disease is not hereditary. There have been a few cases where members of the same family have developed Parkinson’s disease, but this is hardly conclusive to this disease being hereditary.
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, the patient will have difficulty walking and talking. The shaking and tremors of this motor disease will begin to interfere with daily activities. Parkinson’s disease progresses more quickly in some people than in others.
There are a variety of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. These symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may include depression. Some patients will develop difficulty swallowing and speaking. If the Parkinson’s disease becomes so advanced that the patient can not chew or swallow, alternate methods of feedings can be explored.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. There are medications to manage the symptoms. Levodopa in combination with carbidopa is a medication that can allow the nerve cells to produce dopamine to increase the brain’s scarce supply.
It is important to remember that not all symptoms of Parkinson’s disease respond to medication. Not every individual with Parkinson’s will respond in the same way to medication. For some patients, medication can allow them to function almost normally. For other patients, medication does not help the symptoms of Parkinson’s at all.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic disease which means it will persist over a long period of time. In most cases, this disease will progressively cause the symptoms to worsen. The severity of the symptom progression depends on the patient. Some people with Parkinson’s will become severely disabled, while others will only have mild motor symptoms.
There is no way to predict how the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease will affect each individual. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, your doctor can help you monitor your symptoms. He will also be able to tell you, as time goes on, how severe your Parkinson’s disease is likely to become.
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