Parkinson’s disease: features and symptoms

Parkinson’s disease: features and symptoms

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, not all patients can receive full treatment in the country of their permanent residence due to the lack of specialists in this field, insufficient qualification of doctors and shortage of medicines.

There are special alzheimer’s medication / parkinson’s medication to combat these diseases.

What is Parkinson’s Disease

Many confuse Parkinson’s disease with parkinsonism. But this is fundamentally wrong. Parkinsonism is a syndrome (a set of symptoms), which is characterized by the presence of tremor (involuntary contraction of muscles, twitching limbs, facial muscles, head, etc.), bradykinesia (slow motion and reduced amplitude of active movements), muscle stiffness (spasticity) and imbalance.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system, in which one of the leading symptoms is parkinsonism. Motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease are caused by damage and death of nerve cells in the brain, which are responsible for the production of dopamine – neurotransmitter, which allows the transmission of signals to the part of the brain responsible for motor processes.

Most often, the disease affects elderly people. At the beginning of the disease at the age of up to 50 years, the disease is considered Parkinson’s disease with an early start. To date, Parkinson’s disease is incurable and treatment is mainly aimed at improving the quality of life of patients and fighting symptoms. However, timely diagnosis and the beginning of treatment at an early stage can slow down the development of the disease.

In untreated patients, motor disorders are aggressively progressing. And although the course of the disease is individual for each patient, patients who are not treated at an early stage, lose the ability to move independently on average 7-8 years after the beginning of the disease, and after 10 years the patient becomes completely dependent on outside help. Patients receiving full comprehensive treatment for Parkinson’s disease slow down the progression of the disease, and independence is maintained for longer.

Symptoms of the disease

Since there are no unequivocally accurate tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease, the diagnosis is made on the basis of clinical criteria and after the exclusion of other probable diagnoses. Parkinson’s disease symptoms are slow to develop. As a rule, at the beginning of the disease symptoms affect only one side and gradually spread to the other.

Early signs of Parkinson’s disease include:

  1. tremor (jerking) at rest. First, it is unilateral, gradually progressing and exciting to the other side;
  2. a feeling of stiffness in the neck, shoulders, arms;
  3. low sense of smell;
  4. change of voice – trembling in the voice or change of volume, tone, articulation;
  5. micrography – change of handwriting (handwriting becomes small, compressed, shivering);
  6. sleep disturbance (difficulty falling asleep, superficial sleep, fragmented sleep with waking up several times during the night, daytime sleepiness);
  7. progressive slouch;
  8. movement coordination disorder;
  9. gait change (gait becomes shuffling).

After some time the patient develops parkinsonism – a complex of 3 main motor symptoms: tremor, muscle stiffness, bradykinesia (slow motion). The 4th main symptom is balance disorder. If you need to buy anticonvulsant drug and other medicines, there are many specialized modern stores.