Parkinson's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder of the brain. The disease progressively worsens over time and, consequently, the symptoms manifest in greater severity. Symptoms such as stiffness and imbalance are accompanied by psychiatric disturbances that serve to undermine the cognitive ability of the patient. While there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, many treatment options are available. These treatment options include medication, surgery, and rehabilitation care - all of which extend the life and provide relief for the patient in question. Much research continues to be performed to determine the cause of this condition as therein will lay the key to any prospective cure.
The typical symptoms of Parkinson's disease - known as motor symptoms - include rigidity, tremor, postural difficulties, and speech alterations. Such symptoms can arrive relatively early in the disease, while becoming less severe but constant as the disease progresses.
Alongside the motor symptoms are the autonomic symptoms. This means that patients lose the ability to voluntarily control certain functions of their body - including the ability to urinate, blink, or create facial gestures. As the disease progresses, symptoms such as anxiety, depression, impaired thinking and attention, invariably take over.
The final stages of the disease see the complete culmination of these symptoms, ultimately leading to death.
Its is said that Parkinson's Disease results from the death of certain neurons in the brain. The symptoms of Parkinson's form from the deceased amount of dopamine in the brain due to missing neurons that act as chemical messengers.
Typically, Parkinson's disease is diagnosed through an evaluation with a specialist doctor known as a neurologist. They will examine the patient for the archetypal signs and symptoms of this condition while also ruling out the presence of similar conditions such as Huntington's disease.
No blood test currently exists for the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, thus the diagnosis will always come from a trained neurologist. The specialist may also prescribe a drug called carbidopa-levodopa. If the patient positively responds to this drug, it may be indicative of the presence of Parkinson's disease. Along with an analysis of previous and existing medical history, the specialist will be able to determine the presence of this disease.
Many of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease are produced by low levels of dopamine in the brain. Because of this, a physician or neurologist may prescribe one of the following treatments.
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