Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous degenerative disorder where you find that your brain is no longer able to produce dopamine since the cells responsible for this have already died. And they are no longer active.
It is not really known why this happens. It has however been linked with:
- Race: Whites are more likely to get PD as compared to blacks
- Genes: Doctors have seen a trend where if a kid has PD, most probably their father too had it.
- Males: PD is more common in men than women.
- Presence of Lewy bodies: Doctors at Mayoclinic have seen that presence of crumps of lewy bodies in the brain as directly related to one getting Parkinson’s disease.
- Age: People above the age of 60 are more likely to get PD as compared to younger people. This however does not mean that younger people are not likely to get PD as has been seen with Michael J Fox who got the disease at the tender age of 29.
- Use of fertilizers: It has been said that some chemicals in aerosol sprays and fertilizers are more likely to cause PD as compared to people who do not use them.
- Head injuries: This can be seen from Muhammad Ali who got the disease since he had always been fighting and this kind of injured him.
Symptoms and cure of Parkinson’s
The number one symptom of PD is tremors. Other symptoms include: anxiety, slurred speed, imbalance while walking, involuntary head nodding which is also common with people with cerebral palsy.
Unfortunately there is no cure for PD. Scientists have however made a lot of steps in getting the cure for it. Michael J Fox foundation is always on the forefront as they try to look for good treatment for the disease.
Currently there are a few drugs that you can use to treat the symptoms such as levodopa, sinemet. Levodopa works when you brain converts it into dopamine and therefore you will find that you no longer have tremors, are not that anxious and the dyskinesia that you were battling with disappears for a while.
Though levodopa rises your dopamine levels, it has been found to cause nausea, vomiting and irregular heart rhythms as evidenced by WebMd.
Sinemet is actually a combination of levodopa and carbidopa. The introduction of carbidopa is to make levodopa much more effective so you only need to take a little amount to see it working. Carbidopa also gets rid of the negative side effects such as nausea, vomiting and all that.
After sometimes, you might find that the two drugs are not that effective and you can then take Safinamide which has been found to have breakthrough in healing you off the PD symptoms.
Living with Parkinson’s Disease
People with Parkinson’s disease are greatly disadvantaged when it comes to eating, writing or walking. They will need a caregiver to feed and help them drinking. Writing with their hands is also hard as the tremors are just too much and they will not maintain a grip on the pen.
Walking is also hard because they do not have balance and they also experience muscular rigidity from time to time.
How to help people with Parkinson’s disease
At our restaurant, we have always seen people with PD come and go. We have seen how bad it can get and embarrassing as the PD patient is unable to eat on their own unless there is someone to help them scoop the food. We have therefore bought these nice smart gyenno Parkinson’s spoons for tremors that help the patients eat with ease without having to drop the food or feel about themselves.
We have walkers and canes so that the PD patients can walk around with ease. The walkers have wheels and brakes. If you are not comfortable about using walkers, we have canes which you can use.