Parkinson’s Disease: Medical Facts

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder which has affected 60,000 Americans and approximately 10,000 million people globally. The famous boxing legend Muhammad Ali who passed away recently was a victim of this illness. The disease affects the nervous system and makes physical body movement very difficult.

If you are a victim of this disease or know someone who has been diagnosed with it, here are some facts that you need to know: 

  • Not Only for Old People

According to Rachel Dolhun (VP of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research), the Parkinson’s disease is not just for the old people. It may be mostly diagnosed in people aged 60 or above but it can also affect the younger generation. She gives the example of the famous Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox who was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 29. When the disease is diagnosed at a younger age, it means that it is a young-onset Parkinson’s disease.

  • A lot More than Outward Symptoms and Tremors

Usually, Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed on the basis of outward symptoms. But according to Dolhun, the condition has much more to it that the doctors are unable to see. There are other symptoms like constipation, sleeping habits, mood problems, slurred speeches and depression issues that can point towards a possible case of Parkinson’s.  

  • Diagnosing Parkinson is Difficult

When it comes to diagnosing the Parkinson’s disease, there is no specific test for it making it difficult to diagnose. Usually, doctors look for cardinal features of movement disorder. They have their own way of diagnosing the disease in the following four ways.

  • Analyzing the tremor and shaking of body parts such as the arm, chin, entire hand, thumb, feet, and lips.
  • Inspecting the rigidity on rotating the wrist or elbow of the patients.
  • Checking the movement of the arm i.e. Akinesia
  • Looking through the postural instability while holding onto something to maintain balance.

On the basis of these four elements, doctors diagnose the disease. Also, they ask the patient if they feel shaky, stiff or slow while doing daily tasks to evaluate their condition. At times, this becomes difficult as these symptoms are common with some other diseases but competent doctors try best to diagnose the issue.

Common Symptoms

If you or anyone you know is suffering from any of the following symptoms, then it is time you visit a doctor before things go out of hands.

  • Slowed movement
  • Tremors
  • Loss of automatic movements
  • Rigid muscles
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Writing changes
  • Speech changes

Is There a Cure for Parkinson Disease?

According to researches, there is no standard cure, but there is treatment available.  The common treatments include surgical therapy and medication. The most important cure for this disease is to incorporate permanent lifestyle changes in the patient’s life.



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