Parkinson’s Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological condition affecting the nerve cells located in the part of the brain called basal ganglia- the area responsible for movement control. Parkinson’s Disease develops as those cells stop working properly and are lost over time- therefore not enough of a chemical called dopamine is produced. Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease are noticed when the brain cannot produce enough dopamine to control the movement.

There is currently no cure for the disease, but the right treatment enables management of the condition and can help to maintain quality of life.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

There are several signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The most common signs, often known as the Cardinal Signs of Parkinson’s Disease, are Rigidity, Resting Tremor, Slowness of movement (known as Bradykinesia) and altered gait (walking pattern). People with Parkinson’s Disease often have postural changes which can make them more flexed or stooped in posture. This can also impact their walking and balance.

There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and the presentation varies from person to person.

    Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

    The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. However, it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some genes have been linked to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease, but further research is needed to confirm their role in the development of the disease. Environmental factors that have been linked to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease include exposure to certain toxins and head injuries.

    Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

    There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s Disease. However, treatments can help alleviate some of the symptoms. Appropriate medication plays an important role in the management of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

    Physiotherapy can help you improve your mobility, balance, flexibility and strength. This can often transfer to improvement in confidence and quality of life. Recent evidence also suggests that exercise can slow down the progression of the disease.

    There are other therapies available such as occupational therapy or speech and language therapy which combined might increase your independence, identify the challenges in everyday life and equip you with strategies to overcome them.

    Parkinson's Disease Exercise Class

    Summary

    If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to help manage symptoms and potentially slow down the progression of the disease. While there is no cure for this degenerative disorder, medications, lifestyle changes and therapy can help alleviate some of the symptoms and improve quality of life.

    Nicole Lavin Neurorehab Ltd offers a range of services specifically for people living with Parkinson’s Disease, these range from one-to-one appointments in the clinic or in community, virtual services, group exercises based on the Parkinson’s Disease Warrior Evidence, specialist classes in Bradford and Leeds. Please call now to discuss with one of the Parkinson’s Disease Specialist therapists – 0113 250 8833.

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