Let’s start with the fact that Parkinson’s disease is not a lethal and deadly disease. However, with time, symptoms of the disease start affecting your body’s way of functioning properly. Parkinson’s is a progressive and debilitating nervous system disease (1). The disease impairs movement and usually appears at people between 50 and 65 years old. Just so you know, Bill Clinton has Parkinson’s disease and he is still vital and living a normal life.
The disease starts with a small hand tremor. With years, Parkinson’s can progress to loss of movement. Sometimes, Parkinson’s affects your cognitive skills. Parkinson’s is not curable, but there are many treatments and medications that can fight the symptoms. Physical therapy also helps, and there are many progressive surgeries.
What causes Parkinson’s?
There is no clear cause for Parkinson’s. With all the technology we have at our disposal, scientists and medical experts cannot find a clear cause. However, there are certain risk factors. Mayo Clinic believes that genetics and environment play a huge role. (2)
Researchers study gene mutations, and even though they’ve found some mutations that cause Parkinson’s, there is still no clear answer. In addition, toxins and environmental factors also play a role. As for risk factors, men are more prone to Parkinson’s than women.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
We said at the beginning that small hand tremor is the initial symptom of Parkinson’s. But there are other early signs. Stiffness and slowness are two other early signs and symptoms. Here is a complete list of symptoms:
– Rigid muscles
– Speech changes
– Bad posture
– Writing changes
– Troubles writing
– Loss of automatic movements
We also have to note that usually, symptoms start on one side. However, as the disease progresses, they can move to the other.
As I mentioned at the beginning, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. This is a degenerative and progressive disease that will inevitably come to a conclusion. However, you can treat the symptoms. The FDA has approved several drugs and medications that target the symptoms of the disease.
By treating the symptoms, you essentially give yourself a way to live a normal life despite Parkinson’s. According to Mayo Clinic, deep brain stimulation is always an option if you want a surgical procedure. Surgeons implant electrodes in your brain and connect them to a generator. The pulses DBS send to the brain reduce the symptoms. (3)
In terms of medications, there are many more options, including dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors, anticholinergics, and much more.