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    Understanding Parkinson’s Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

    Understanding Parkinson’s Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

    October 14, 2023

    Overview

    Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects a person’s ability to control movements. It primarily develops due to the deterioration of nerve cells in a part of the brain called substantia nigra that produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter essential for smooth and coordinated muscle movements. If you are looking for Parkinson’s Disease Treatment in Bangalore, you must first learn about the symptoms.

    Symptoms

    The hallmark symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include –

    Tremors: Involuntary shaking of the hands, fingers, or other body parts, especially at rest.

    Bradykinesia: Slowness of movement, making simple daily tasks time-consuming and challenging.

    Muscle Rigidity: Stiffness in the limbs and trunk, causing discomfort and restricted range of motion.

    Postural Instability: Difficulty maintaining balance and an increased risk of falls.

    Changes in Speech: low volume and monotonous speech.

    Freezing: Momentary inability to initiate movements especially walking.

    Micrographia: Small and cramped handwriting.

    Masked Face: Reduced facial expressions, giving a “masked” appearance.

    Non-Motor Symptoms: These may include depression, anxiety, constipation, and sleep disturbances.

    When to See a Doctor

    If you or a loved one experience any of the above symptoms persistently, especially if they interfere with daily activities, it’s crucial to seek medical evaluation by a neurologist and ideally by a movement disorder specialist like at Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Hospital in Bangalore like Apollo Hospitals. Early diagnosis and intervention can help manage symptoms effectively.

    Causes

    The precise cause of Parkinson’s disease remains unknown, but it’s believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some potential risk factors include age, family history, exposure to toxins, and certain genetic mutations.

    Prevention

    Since the exact cause is uncertain, there are no guaranteed prevention strategies. However, some lifestyle choices might reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s:

    Regular exercise

    • A balanced diet rich in antioxidants
    • Avoiding exposure to pesticides and herbicides
    • Reducing head injuries through safety measures

    Diagnosis

    Diagnosing Parkinson’s disease can be complex, as there is no definitive test. Doctors rely on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and neurological assessments. Brain imaging scans like MRI and DaTscan can help rule out other conditions.

    Tests

    Common tests used in the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease include:

    UPDRS (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale): A standardised rating system to assess the severity of Parkinson’s symptoms.

    Blood Tests: To rule out other potential causes of symptoms.

    Neurological Examinations: Evaluating muscle strength, reflexes, coordination, and sensation.

    DaTscan: An imaging test that can show dopamine levels in the brain, is usually done if there is suspicion that medicines are causing Parkinson disease symptoms.

    Treatment

    While there’s no cure for Parkinson’s disease, various treatment options aim to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These include:

    • Medications: Dopamine replacement drugs like Levodopa can alleviate motor symptoms.
    • Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve mobility, balance, and flexibility.
    • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to maintain independence in daily activities.
    • Speech Therapy: Strategies to address speech and swallowing difficulties.
    • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS): Surgical procedure involving the implantation of electrodes in the brain to modify abnormal nerve signals.
    • High-intensity Focussed Ultrasound therapy: Newer treatment option for patients whose tremors are more severe that the other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease i.e. rigidity and bradykinesia.

    Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Cost in Bangalore can vary widely depending on several factors.

    Medication Costs: Prices may range from a few hundred to a few thousand Indian Rupees (INR) per month, depending on the specific drugs and dosages prescribed.

    Doctor’s Consultation Fees: The cost of Parkinson’s Disease Doctor in Bangalore for Parkinson’s disease management may range from INR 500 to INR 1,500 or more.

    Physical Therapy: The cost of each physical therapy session can vary, but it may range from INR 500 to INR 1,500 per session.

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Surgery: The total cost may range from INR 10 to 20 lakhs based on the type of battery chosen.

    Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapy sessions can cost between INR 500 to INR 1,500 or more per session, depending on the facility and therapist’s experience.

    Natural History of the disease and Treatment Outcomes

    The disease typically starts on one side and progresses to involve the other side usually after 5 years. Early diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan are essential for better outcomes. The aim of medications and surgery is to manage the symptoms effectively. The response to Parkinson’s treatment varies from person to person. Some individuals experience significant symptom relief, while others may find their condition more challenging to manage. Based on the response to the medicines, doses are adjusted at follow ups by the neurologist. Deep Brain Stimulation surgery is reserved for patients who have unpredictable response to medicines or have unacceptable side effects with medicines. The unpredictability in response to medicines generally occurs after 5 years of disease onset.

    Preparing for Your Appointment

    Before seeing a healthcare provider, prepare by:

    • Making a list of symptoms, including when they started and how they affect daily life.
    • Gathering your medical history, including past illnesses, surgeries, and family history of neurological conditions.
    • Listing all medications and supplements you’re currently taking.
    • Writing down questions and concerns to discuss during the appointment.

    While Parkinson’s disease presents significant challenges, early diagnosis, and comprehensive care can help individuals manage their condition and maintain a fulfilling life. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention from Apollo Hospitals for a proper evaluation and personalised treatment plan.

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