Parkinson’s Disease: Changing Symptoms With Changing Stages
Article by Mak Collin
According to Parkinson’shealth.com more than one million people in the US have Parkinson’s disease. This problem is more common in the patients above the age of 50, since only 15% of the number of patients diagnosed have been under the age of 40.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a medical condition of the central nervous system. A patient suffering from this condition may not be able to perform tasks which require mobility. This is because every action that our body takes is taken only after the brain sends signals to do so. The area of the brain which is though to control movement is regulated by a hormone called dopamine.
In a patient suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the dopamine producing cells are damaged and they progressively reduce the dopamine supply to the brain. This reduced supply interferes with the brains normal ability to function. Since the signals are not received by the brain, the physical movements of such patients are unusual.
It is important to understand that Parkinson’s is a progressive disease. This means that while the early symptoms may be mild, as time progresses, the patient may have problems even turning in their beds!
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:
The symptoms gradually worsen over time. Also new and new symptoms get introduced at the later stages. The various symptoms that occur in early, moderate and advanced stage are as follows:
Early Stage:The symptoms faced at this stage are as follows:
Slow Movements: The movements of the body are slowed down considerably as a result of decreased dopamine supply to the brain. This gives first visible clues to the onset of Parkinson’s disease.
Stiffness or Aching: Stiffness or aching is common at this stage of the disease. In fact many patients may just ignore the symptoms as regular fatigue. However the severity of stiffness and aching increases as time progresses.
Tremors: Since the signals sent to the brain are erratic, tremors are also observed by patients at this stage. The patient may have difficulty holding on to things such as a cup of tea.
Apart from these prominent symptoms a persistent feeling of confusion is also common amongst patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Moderate Stage:The symptoms faced at this stage are as follows:
Severe Difficulty in Movement: The minor issues with regards to personal mobility become more and more severe as the dopamine supply is progressively reduced to the brain. At this stage, patients have a hard time getting up from a chair or even walking without any support.
Speech Difficulties: At this stage, there are some effects on the cognitive ability of the individual too. Speech gets impaired and it is often observed that the person has difficulty in finding words. Slurred speech is also a common occurrence.
Advanced Stage:The symptoms faced at this stage are as follows:
Movements Impaired: At this stage, the movements of a Parkinson’s disease affected patient are completely impaired. They may need help even for conducting their daily bowel movements. The signals are not conducted from the brain to the concerned body part.
Unpredictable Response to Medication: This fact makes the advanced stage all the more difficult to handle for a medical professional. The patient may show abrupt reactions to the same medication that was successfully delivered to them in the past.
Difficulties in Thinking: At the final stage of Parkinson’s disease, a patient may even lose its thinking ability. In many cases, the brain cannot perform even elementary cognitive tasks in this stage.
To prevent this progression from early to advanced stage rapidly occurring, there are a wide range of alternative therapies that can be taken in conjunction with the medication. These include yoga, Tai-chi and stretching.
About the Author
Azilect is a well known medicine which helps patients to cope well with the Parkinson’s disease. It helps in improving the quality of life of the patient involved.