Parkinson’s Disease (PD), which occurs due to the degeneration of brain cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that coordinates muscle movement, occurs in a family of disorders known as Parkinsonism.
It is commonly referred to as a motor disorder, but there are many other terms used for the condition. PD is a progressive disease that causes both involuntary and voluntary movements of the musculoskeletal system, including chewing, swallowing, eye movements and muscular contractions of the extremities.
The first symptoms of PD will often start during early adulthood. This is a particularly difficult time for patients because they will be unable to control the movement of their bodies. Although PD itself is not a life threatening condition, it does lead to disability of one or more of the major parts of the body, such as the cerebrum, basal ganglia, cerebellum, and limbic system. Parkinson’s symptoms can include rigidity of the trunk, facial drooping, loss of handwriting skills, dyskinesia, weakness of muscles, spasticity and difficulty with muscular control.
In addition to these symptoms, PD may cause dizziness, depression, anxiety, memory loss and other non-motor symptoms.
If you suspect you have PD, then you need to seek medical treatment right away, but you don’t necessarily have to be diagnosed with PD before seeking treatment. You can go for a diagnosis of PD only if you have symptoms that interfere with your everyday activities. There are several factors that determine whether you should be treated or not.
A common reason for choosing not to treat Parkinson’s disease is that it has no known cure. However, there are several medications that can help patients suffering from the condition, such as levodopa and carbidopa. A patient with PD is prescribed a prescription for these medications in order to provide a controlled level of medication that can reduce the effects of the disease on the body. However, these medications do not cure the disorder; they simply slow the progress of the disease.
The second reason for not treating the condition early is the fact that it is a progressive disease and there is no guarantee of improvement after the first symptoms.
It can take years for a patient with PD to experience improvement. While some medications have good results in terms of treating the symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disease, others do not. The most commonly used medications are anticholinergic drugs, neuroleptics and antidepressants. All of these medications can lead to side effects, including liver damage, fatigue, drowsiness, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and memory loss.
A third reason that treatment is not sought early is because of the expense involved. While a doctor can prescribe a wide variety of medications, the cost of each treatment can add up. Some of the treatments may require multiple doses throughout the day, which adds up.
Additionally, if the condition worsens over time, doctors will have to increase the dosages.
Another factor that leads to patients opting to take their case to the next level is the fear that they will not improve with the existing treatment options. Unfortunately, there is no known way to diagnose an individual with PD before the disorder progresses to the point where symptoms become worse and surgery becomes necessary.
If you or someone you know suffers from PD, it is important to explore all of your treatment options. There are many medications, dietary supplements and alternative therapies which can provide a healthy balance to the symptoms of the disease. Of course, many patients have found that the most effective treatment options include lifestyle changes and exercise. This is not only the safest approach, but it is also the most effective. By living a healthier lifestyle and engaging in daily exercise routines, patients can ensure that the disease does not interfere with everyday life.