10 Important Facts About Parkinson's Disease

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10 Important Facts About Parkinson's Disease
10 Important Facts About Parkinson's Disease

Video: 10 Important Facts About Parkinson's Disease

Video: 10 Important Facts About Parkinson's Disease
Video: 5 Facts About Parkinson's Disease (Step 1, COMLEX, NCLEX®, PANCE, AANP) 2023, December

10 important facts about Parkinson's disease

April 11 - World Parkinson's Day. It is held annually to help people understand this disease, draw attention to it, and support patients and their families.

10 important facts about Parkinson's disease
10 important facts about Parkinson's disease

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

April 11 - World Parkinson's Day. Many people do not consider this disease to be serious, and patients often face confusion. "MedNovosti" prepared 10 facts about this pathology.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic disease in which groups of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain are affected. Its deficiency leads to the development of symptoms, the most famous of which are tremors, slowness of movement, stiffness and instability. The disease is chronic, complicated by infections and injuries. The cause of the disease is unknown, it is currently impossible to recover from it.

1. Parkinson's disease and parkinsonism are not the same

Parkinsonism is a syndrome that includes tremors (tremors), slow motion, unsteadiness, stiffness. In 61% of cases, it is caused by Parkinson's disease. But such symptoms can appear with intoxication and other pathologies, for example, dementia with Lewy bodies.

2. Parkinson's disease is not a rare disease

In Russia, about 210-220 thousand people suffer from Parkinson's disease, according to calculations. According to various studies, between 8 and 22 per 100,000 people in the country fall ill each year. In 2015, about 6.2 million people were ill with it in the world, at least 117 thousand deaths were associated with it.

3. Parkinson's disease is not an exclusively age-related pathology

Parkinson's disease is most commonly diagnosed in people around the age of 60. But cases of early development of pathology (up to 40 years) are not rare - up to 10%. The most famous patient who had the disease in his youth is Michael J. Fox.

4. Early symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be unusual

It is known that the amount of dopamine in the body can decrease long before the onset of motor (movement-related) symptoms of the disease. Therefore, constipation, sleep problems (REM sleep behavior disturbance) and loss of smell may be early signs. These symptoms are not always indicative of Parkinson's disease, but their occurrence should be discussed with your doctor.

According to the Parkinson Foundation, other early manifestations of the disease may include:

tremor of fingers, palms, chin;

  • small handwriting (decrease in comparison with the past), change in handwriting;
  • movement disorders (stiffness);
  • voice changes (hoarseness, unusual softness);
  • weakening of facial expressions;
  • dizziness and fainting;
  • slouch.

Tremors in Parkinson's disease are often seen at rest, but may also occur with movement. It usually has a rotational component: this movement is sometimes called "pill rolling" or "coin counting".

5. Early treatment improves the prognosis of Parkinson's disease

When the first symptoms of the disease are found, you should not postpone the visit to the doctor. Early treatment improves the prognosis of the disease: reduces the severity of symptoms, slows down the progression of the disease, and improves the quality of life.

6. Parkinson's disease affects more than movement

In addition to stiffness, tremors, and slowness, Parkinson's disease has non-motor, "invisible" symptoms. Some of them are already listed above (constipation, loss of smell, sleep disturbances). In addition to them, there may be:

cognitive impairment

  • difficulty emptying the bladder
  • sweating
  • sexual dysfunctions,
  • weakness,
  • pain,
  • noise in ears,
  • depression,
  • anxiety.

There is an opinion that no two people with this disease have the same symptoms. In some cases, people with Parkinson's disease do not have tremors. For many patients, non-motor symptoms become much more of a problem than motor symptoms.

7. Patients should not blame their illness for all problems

The Parkinson Foundation draws attention to the fact that this disease is not characterized by headaches, vertigo, loss of sensitivity, loss of muscle strength, chest pain. If uncharacteristic symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor. Patients should be well aware of the manifestations of the disease.

8. Medicines for Parkinson's disease are not the cause of its symptoms

Just as HIV dissidents blame antiretroviral drugs for AIDS, some argue that Parkinson's disease develops with the drug levodopa.

The myths of "Parkinson's dissidents" have long been dispelled. In a large study, patients treated with this drug were better than controls.

9. Parkinson's disease progresses slowly and gradually

This disease is not characterized by sharp exacerbations. If the deterioration occurs within days or weeks, additional causes (infection, dehydration, lack of sleep) need to be looked for. The intensity of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease itself can vary, but not critically.

10. Parkinson's disease should not be called fatal

Although it is a serious illness, it is not a death sentence, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine website points out. Parkinson's disease does not kill people like heart attacks or strokes. In its course, much depends on the quality of the help and care received. A great danger to patients is falls and infections that may accompany illness.