Detecting Parkinson’s Disease Early

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while a tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.

 

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

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications may markedly improve your symptoms. In occasional cases, your doctor may suggest surgery to regulate certain regions of your brain and improve your symptoms.

Causes 

In Parkinson’s disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to signs 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 disease, but these are uncommon except in rare cases with many family members affected by Parkinson’s disease.However, certain gene variations appear to increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease but with a relatively small risk of Parkinson’s disease for each of these genetic markers.
  • Environmental triggers. Exposure to certain toxins or environmental factors may increase the risk of later Parkinson’s disease, but the risk is relatively small.

Researchers have also noted that many changes occur in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, although it’s not clear why these changes occur. These changes include:

  • The presence of Lewy bodies. Clumps of specific substances within brain cells are microscopic markers of Parkinson’s disease. These are called Lewy bodies, and researchers believe these Lewy bodies hold an important clue to the cause of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Alpha-synuclein is found within Lewy bodies. Although many substances are found within Lewy bodies, scientists believe an important one is the natural and widespread protein called alpha-synuclein (A-synuclein). It’s found in all Lewy bodies in a clumped form that cells can’t break down. This is currently an important focus among Parkinson’s disease researchers

Lifestyle and home remedies

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 greatest relief from symptoms with the fewest side effects. Certain lifestyle changes may also help make living with Parkinson’s disease easier.
 

Healthy eating

While there’s no food or combination of foods proven to help in Parkinson’s disease, some foods may help ease some of the symptoms. For example, eating foods high in fiber and drinking an adequate amount of fluids can help prevent constipation that is common in Parkinson’s disease.

A balanced diet also provides nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, that may be beneficial for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Exercise

Exercising may increase your muscle strength, flexibility and balance. Exercise can also improve your well-being and reduce depression or anxiety.

Your doctor may suggest you work with a physical therapist to learn an exercise program that works for you. You may also try exercises such as walking, swimming, gardening, dancing, water aerobics or stretching.

Parkinson’s disease can disturb your sense of balance, making it difficult to walk with a normal gait. Exercise may improve your balance. These suggestions may also help:

  • Try not to move too quickly.
  • Aim for your heel to strike the floor first when you’re walking.
  • If you notice yourself shuffling, stop and check your posture. It’s best to stand up straight.
  • Look in front of you, not directly down, while walking.

Avoiding falls

In the later stages of the disease, you may fall more easily. In fact, you may be thrown off balance by just a small push or bump. The following suggestions may help:

  • Make a U-turn instead of pivoting your body over your feet.
  • Distribute your weight evenly between both feet, and don’t lean.
  • Avoid carrying things while you walk.
  • Avoid walking backward.

Daily living activities

Daily living activities — such as dressing, eating, bathing and writing — can be difficult for people with Parkinson’s disease. An occupational therapist can show you techniques that make daily life easier.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have any of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease — not only to diagnose your condition but also to rule out other causes for your symptoms.

4 thoughts on “Detecting Parkinson’s Disease Early

  • March 22, 2017 at 11:42 am
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    My grandma has Parkinson’s disease, she is about 75 years old it was detected 7 years ago. it was very difficult to live for her, because of stiff muscles she can’t even move. L-dopa and carbidopa medicines are given, but won”t give much relief. She can”t eat food and the skin is damaging forming ganglia.my friend introduced me to perfecthealthherbalmedicine,he said perfecthealthherbalmedicine cure his father of Parkinson and COPD,so i decided to give it a try,so i emailed them,they replied and ask for my grandma details,which i sent to them via email:perfecthealthherbalmedicine @ gmail.com,website:www .perfecthealthherbal .weebly. com. then i purchased the herbal medicine for Parkinson diseases,after purchasing,the herbal medicine was shipped to my address,which i received within 2 days,when i received the herbal medicine i called them,and they told me how to use it,after 5 weeks of usage my grandma stiff muscles was released and she started walking,eat properly too,i was like a miracle,and our family doctor confirmed my grandma is Parkinson free,am so happy and God will bless perfecthealthherbalmedicinehome for their great work..

    Reply
  • March 29, 2017 at 9:01 am
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    These are all great facts and suggestions. Thank you for the article.

    Reply
  • March 31, 2017 at 10:52 pm
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    My mother in law had Parkinsons. They have great meds that help with a lot of the symptoms. Its like night and day.

    Reply
  • May 1, 2017 at 9:40 am
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    My grandma had Parkinson’s disease, she is about 80 years old it was detected 7 years ago. Right now it’s getting more difficult to live for her, because of stiff muscles she can’t even move. L-dopa and carbidopa medicines are given, but won”t give much relief. She can”t eat food and the skin is damaging forming ganglia. This is may be the last stage of disease.. nothing was really working to help her condition. Finally she started on parkinson’s herbal formula i purchased from Health Herbal Clinic, i read alot of positive reviews from other patients who used the parkinson’s herbal treatment. she used the herbal remedy for 7 weeks, its effects on parkinson’s is amazing, all her symptoms gradually faded away, she feed very more freely by herself now! (Visit www. healthherbalclinic. weebly. com or email at healthherbalclinic@ gmail. com) I recommend this Parkinson’s herbal formula for all Parkinson’s Patients.

    Reply

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