What is Parkinson’s Disease?
A progressive disease, that attacks and degrades a person’s nervous system, Parkinson’s Disease has become relatively well-known due to high profile celebrities highlighting their diagnoses. Parkinson’s Disease is considered treatable, but not curable, as the disease progressively breaks down neurons within the nervous system. As the neurons break down, the body begins to produce less dopamine - an essential chemical that’s used to transmit messages through the nervous system. As less and less dopamine is produced, the more pronounced the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease become.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
The symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease can differ from person to person, and the first visible symptoms are often markedly different per case. Very often, the first set of symptoms are quite mild, and barely noticeable. Nonetheless, common symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease include:
- Tremors: Limbs, hands, or fingers, may shake uncontrollably.
- Slowed down movements: You may battle to walk at your usual pace, end up dragging your feet, or battling to stand up.
- Problems with posture and balance: You may often lose your balance for no apparent reason, or begin to stoop over.
- Rigid muscles: Sudden muscle stiffness affects your movements and ability to move effectively.
- Facial expressions: Particularly evident during the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, you may lose the ability to express emotion in your face.
- Problems with writing and speech: Slurring, speaking, or writing more slowly than before. Your motor control becomes progressively more difficult.
Who Does Parkinson’s Disease Affect?
Contrary to popular belief, Parkinson’s Disease is not just an “old person’s disease”. While the majority of diagnoses occur in people over the age of sixty, 15% of diagnoses are given to people under the age of forty.
What to Do If You’re Concerned About a Loved One
If a member of your family seems to be displaying some of any of the above-listed symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, they must see a doctor as soon as possible. Prolonging the doctor’s appointment will only lead to a further degradation of symptoms, so don’t be tempted into thinking they’ll ‘get over it’. Treatment and medication can be used to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and help those affected to continue enjoying good quality of life.
LifeDoc Can Help
If you’re concerned about loved one’s health, book an appointment with your family doctor, or specialist as soon as possible. Make that appointment, and take your notes using LifeDoc, to help you remember important details around Parkinson’s Disease treatment and patient care. LifeDoc ™ can help. LifeDoc ™ helps you take charge of your personal health information, remember medical appointments, and securely stores your personal medical history. Stay up to date with LifeDoc™ on Facebook and Twitter.