Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurological disorder. This disease mainly affects the nerve cells in your brain that produces dopamine. Parkinson’s disease affects more than one million people till date. Every year around 50,000-60,000 people suffer with Parkinson’s disease in United States.
Parkinson’s disease is not considered as a fatal disease, but it cause debilitating symptoms that affect your daily activities. The symptoms generally occur when the brain’s ability to communicate is damaged. Parkinson’s disease commonly leads to stiffness of muscles and affects their movement.
In the early stages your face may either show little or no symptoms. Your speech may become soft or slurred in the initial stages.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease vary from person to person. The symptoms range from mild to chronic. Symptoms in the early stages usually get unnoticed and often affect one side of your body and become severe with time. As the time progresses, both the sides gets affected with Parkinson’s disease.
The common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
Tremors are the initial symptoms caused during Parkinson disease. Tremors usually begin from limbs and gradually you will experience pill-rolling tremor. Back and forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger is considered as pill-rolling tremor. Tremor of hands when at rest is the characteristic feature of Parkinson’s disease.
Bradykinesia is a common term used to refer the slow movements in your body. Over the time, Parkinson’s disease may reduce your ability to perform simple tasks and there will be a gradual decrease in the movement. You will experience difficulty in moving your hands and legs while performing simple tasks on a daily basis.
- Rigid muscle function
Muscle stiffness or rigidity is seen in any part of your body. Muscle stiffness generally cause pain and limit your range of motion.
- Impaired posture and balance
Due to the rigidity of muscles, you will experience a change in your posture. Generally your posture becomes stooped and may lead to balance problems
- Loss of unconscious movement
While suffering with Parkinson’s disease you will experience decreased ability to perform unconscious movements like smiling, blinking and swinging of arms while walking.
- Speech disability
Speech problems are common during Parkinson’s disease. You may either speak softly, quickly or feel difficulty in talking.
- Writing changes
Due to the lack of muscle movement, you will face difficulty in writing and holding an object firmly.
Causes of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is mainly caused due to the breakdown or death of certain nerve cells in your brain. Most of the symptoms appear due to the loss of neurons that are known to produce a chemical messenger in your brain.
Dopamine is the chemical messenger that is produced in your brain. Low levels of dopamine cause abnormal brain activity. The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but there are certain factors that increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The factors include:
- Genetic mutations
- Environmental factors
When you experience any symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease, you need to consult your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you in avoiding major health issues related to Parkinson’s disease.