Everything you need to know about Parkinson’s disease

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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disease. The first signs are problems with movement. Smooth and coordinated muscle movements of the body are possible with a substance called dopamine in the brain. Dopamine, your brain “substantia nigra (black mass)”

It is produced in a part called . In Parkinson’s disease, substantia nigra cells begin to die. When Substantia nigra cells die, dopamine levels decrease. When the number of cells drops by 60 to 80 percent, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease begin to appear.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, which is chronic and worsens over time.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

Some of the early signs of Parkinson’s disease may precede motor problems for several years. These symptoms are:

– decreased ability to smell (anosmia)
– Constipation
– Small, narrow handwriting
– Voice changes

The four main engine problems seen are:

– Tremors (swaying at rest)
– Slow movements
– stiffness of the arms, legs, and trunk
– Balance and falling problems

The secondary symptoms are:

– Dull, empty facial expression
– Tendency to get stuck while walking
– Muffled, low speech
– Downward tendency
– Decreased arm swinging while walking

More severe symptoms may include:

– Flaky white or yellow flakes on the oily parts of the skin, known as seborrheic dermatitis
– An increased risk of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer
– sleep disorders, including speech and movement during sleep
– Depression
– Anxiety
– Hallucinations
– Psychosis
– Problems with attention and memory
– Difficulty in visual-spatial relationships

Early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may not be recognized. Your body may try to alert you to movement disorder years before you encounter these difficulties.

Causes of Parkinson’s disease

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. It can have both genetic and environmental components. Some scientists think that viruses can trigger parkinsonian. Norepinephrine, a substance that regulates low levels of dopamine and dopamine, has been associated with parkinson’s disease. Abnormal proteins called Lewy bodies were also found in the brain of Parkinson’s patients. Scientists don’t know what role Lewy played in the development of parkinsonism.

While there is no known cause, research has identified groups of people at higher risk of parkinson’s disease. These:

Gender: Men are one and a half times more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than women.
Race: Whites are more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than blacks.
Age: Parkinson’s disease usually occurs between the ages of 50 and 60. It occurs only in 5-10 percent of cases before the age of 40.
Family history: People who have family members close to Parkinson’s disease are also more likely to get Parkinson’s disease.
Toxins: Exposure to some toxins may increase the risk of parkinson’s disease.
Head injury: People who have head trauma are more likely to get Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease stages

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease. Its symptoms often worsen over time.

Many doctors use the Hoehn and Yahr scale to classify stages. This scale divides symptoms into five stages and helps healthcare professionals know how advanced the disease symptoms are.

Stage 1: Stage 1 is the lightest form of parkinsonian. It is so mild that, in fact, you may not experience noticeable symptoms. Symptoms may not interfere with your daily life yet.
Stage 2: 1. The transition from stage to stage 2 may take months or even years. Every person’s experience will be different. At this stage, you may experience symptoms such as muscle stiffness, tremors, changes in facial expressions. Muscle stiffness can complicate daily tasks. At this stage, symptoms can appear on both sides of the body. Changes in posture, gait, and facial expressions may be more pronounced.
Stage 3: In this middle stage, the symptoms reach a turning point. Although you may not experience new symptoms, the symptoms may be more pronounced. They can also interfere with all your daily work. Movements slow down significantly, which slows down activities. Balance issues also become more important, so declines are more common. However, Parkinson’s patients in stage 3 can usually complete their activities without much help.
Stage 4: Progress from stage 3 to stage 4 brings important changes. At this point, you may have great difficulty standing up without a walker or assistive device. Reactions and muscle movements also slow down significantly. Living alone may not be safe.
Stage 5: At this most advanced stage, severe symptoms require 24-hour assistance. It will be difficult to stand, if not impossible. Wheelchair may be required. Also, confusion, delusions, and hallucinations can occur in people with Parkinson’s disease at this stage.

This is the most common parkinson disease stage system, but alternative staging systems are also used for parkinson disease.

Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease

There is no special test in the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. Diagnosis is made based on a medical history, a physical and neurological examination, as well as a review of symptoms and signs. Imaging tests such as CAT scan or MRI can be used to rule out other conditions. A dopamine transporter (DAT) scan can also be used. These tests cannot diagnose parkinson’s disease, but can help rule out other conditions and support the doctor’s diagnosis.

Parkinson’s diet

For people diagnosed with Parkinson’s, diet can play an important role in daily life. While it won’t treat or prevent progress, a healthy diet can have some important effects. Parkinson occurs as a result of a decrease in dopamine levels in the brain. You can increase hormone levels naturally with foods. Likewise, a healthy diet that focuses on certain foods can reduce some symptoms and prevent the progression of the disease.

Antioxidants: Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress and brain damage. Foods rich in antioxidants include nuts, strawberries, and many vegetables.
Beans: This lemon green bean-like vegetable contains levodopa, which is the same substance used in some Parkinson’s drugs.
Omega 3: Omega 3 fatty acids can prevent your brain from being damaged. Salmon, clams, soybeans, flaxseeds, and kidney beans contain a good amount of omega 3 fatty acids.

Foods to avoid

Dairy products: Milk and dairy products have been associated with the risk of developing parkinson’s disease. A substance in dairy products can adversely affect oxidation levels in your brain, making symptoms more permanent. This effect has been shown to be stronger in men than in women and not in those that are not supplemented with calcium. If you are going to stop consuming dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, you may want to consider a calcium supplement to compensate for calcium loss in your diet.

Foods with high saturated fat content: The role of foods high in saturated fat in the development of parkinsonism is still being investigated and is often contradictory. Some limited research has shown that ketogenic, low-protein diets are beneficial for patients with Parkinson’s. Other research reports that saturated fat intake increases the risk. But generally fried or overprocessed foods change your metabolism, raise blood pressure and affect your cholesterol. None of these are good for your body, especially in Parkinson’s treatment.

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MWT. Serkan Sıtkı Şahin

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