There are various neurotransmitters in our brain. Among them, dopamine, a precursor of the norepinephrine and epinephrine complex, is responsible for the transmission of excitation in brain neurons. Parkinson’s disease is a disease that causes various clinical symptoms as nerve cells that secrete dopamine in the substantia nigra in the brain gradually disappear. It is the second most common degenerative brain disease after dementia, and it was made known in 1817 by an English physician, James Parkinson, who recorded the disease progression of a patient he was examining. Parkinson’s disease is a disease that mainly occurs in the elderly. The risk of developing Parkinson’s disease increases with increasing age. The main cause of Parkinson’s disease is not known exactly, but the hypothesis that genetic and environmental factors combine to influence the development is universal. Genetic factors are said to affect the development of cells by causing abnormalities in the cell’s ability to remove unnecessary substances in the metabolic process of nerve cells. In particular, it is known that early-onset Parkinson’s disease under the age of 50 is greatly influenced by genetic factors. In addition, it is estimated that several environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins such as pesticides and trace metal elements, and head injury, also influence the development of Parkinson’s disease. Now, let’s learn about the various symptoms and treatment information that appear in the onset of Parkinson’s disease. The main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
When Parkinson’s disease occurs, various movement disorders such as tremors, slow movement, and muscle stiffness occur. Among them, body tremor is the most noticeable symptom. It mainly appears when lying down or in a comfortable position, and the tremor disappears when you move your hands or legs. In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, the muscles become stiff, and as the symptoms progress, you may feel a feeling of tightening or pulling the muscles, or muscle pain. In addition, the number and size of movements such as blinking eyes and facial expressions, arm movements when walking, and posture changes may be reduced and slowed down, and there may be symptoms of unstable body posture and gait freezing symptoms that make it difficult to walk normally. will occur.
In addition to these symptoms of movement disorders, non-motor symptoms may also appear. Depression and anxiety, impulse control disorders, hallucinations, and psychosis occur. In addition, various symptoms such as orthostatic hypotension and olfactory dysfunction, restless legs syndrome, lethargy, REM sleep behavior disorder, and periodic movement disorder may occur due to abnormalities in the autonomic nervous system, along with symptoms such as constipation and frequent urination. After the disease progresses, the risk of complications such as pneumonia and fractures increases. Parkinson’s disease is known to improve symptoms and reduce the risk of complications when detected early through the development of various treatments. How to treat and manage Parkinson’s disease
1. Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is based on the history of characteristic symptoms and the neurological examination findings of a specialist. In addition, imaging tests such as CT and MRI are sometimes performed for differential diagnosis from other diseases that can be confused with Parkinson’s disease. If you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease based on the diagnosis results based on these tests, you will first be treated with drugs that supplement the dopamine that is lacking and help the patient to lead a better life. Treatment is carried out by prescribing drugs such as levodopa, a precursor of dopamine, dopamine agonists, a substance similar to dopamine, and dopamine-degrading enzyme inhibitors, a substance that allows dopamine to remain in the body for a long time. In case of accompanied by dementia, drugs related to dementia are used, and in the case of accompanied by depression, drug treatment is given to relieve symptoms according to symptoms such as the use of antidepressants. In addition, exercise therapy to help maintain mobility and active function may be performed, and surgical treatment such as deep brain stimulation may be considered depending on the progression of symptoms.
2. Steady exercise
In order to prevent the progression of Parkinson’s disease, it is recommended to perform various exercises such as walking and light type of strength training to continuously manage the part of physical activity. Also, as the joints become stiff and the lower back can be bent as the disease progresses, it is also important to consistently perform various exercises such as yoga, bare-handed gymnastics, and stretching to improve the flexibility of the body. It is best to exercise by yourself, but if it is difficult to exercise on your own, it is also a good way to exercise through rehabilitation treatment.