Parkinson’s Disease is an old age movement disorder. Most of the patients know that it is not curable. There are many articles on internet about its symptoms and treatments too. But there are many important Parkinson’s disease facts which many patients and caregivers fail to understand. With help of Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Everyday Health and ecaring.com here are some of the important facts about Parkinson’s Disease that you must know:
Strange Parkinson’s Disease Facts
It is a neurodegenerative disorder
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder in which the cells responsible for releasing the required chemicals for movements of our body and other motor functions slowly die. Due to this, brain becomes inefficient to transmit signals to other parts of the body.
How was it identified?
Till AD 175, it was considered as shaking palsy. But after a detailed medical essay “An Essay On Shaking Palsy” was published in 1817 by a London based medical professional Dr. James Parkinson, it was recognized as a separate medical condition from shaking palsy. The disease was thus named Parkinson’s Disease after his name.
Is it a common disease?
Till date approximately ten million people on record are living with Parkinson’s Disease worldwide. Every year around 100,000 people are diagnosed with it throughout the world. Unfortunately, many cases go undetected till the last stage of the disease.
Parkinson’s Disease Onset Age
Parkinson’s Disease is a middle age to old age disorder. Its onset commonly takes place after the age of 50 years. The average common age of Parkinson’s Disease is 56. Only 4 percent of patients are diagnosed before the age of 50. If the onset is before the age of 40, it is called young-onset Parkinson’s Disease.
Only one medication for last 5 decades
Parkinson’s Disease was identified as a medical condition in 1817, but the medication for its treatment was found only a few decades ago. The medicine used for it then is the one used even today. There are no other medications to treat it apart from the one known.
Exercise is equally important as diet
Apart from the chemical known to treat the disease, exercise is also important for treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The medication should be taken alongside exercises to provide optimum results with least side effects. Patients who exercise regularly during the on-medication phase have fewer chances of symptoms as well as are better able to perform their daily tasks.
Paralysis of Digestive System
It is one of the most neglected symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Due to the disease, our autonomic system gets impaired causing constipation, diarrhea and improper digestion. Our autonomic system controls all of our “automatic” functions such as heart rate, digestion, breathing rate, perspiration, urination, and sexual arousal. In extreme cases patients even suffer from paralysis of digestive system when the bowel movement issues are neglected or not taken care of properly.
Parkinson’s Disease is geographically abundant
While all researchers study the disease in terms of genetic mutation and physical aspects of the disease, one survey shook all of those studies. It is stated that the Chamorro people of Guam have higher incidences of Parkinson’s Disease than rest of the world. It is mainly due to the consumption of flying fox bat in their region. The flying fox bat has a palate of cycad seed which contains high levels of neurotoxins. Due to this, the brain disorders and diseases are genetically induced in the Chamorro people for ages.
Parkinson’s Disease and Depression are correlated
Many studies found that depression is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Most of the patients who are diagnosed of the disease reveal that they suffered from depression during their young age. It may be correlated as Parkinson’s Disease causes depression right from the early stages.
Disclaimer – The above statements are for informational purpose only. Please take advice of a trained medical professional before acting on any of the above statements.
There is no official Diagnosis
Parkinson’s Disease is tough to diagnose. It attacks each patient in a unique way. There is no definite path of Parkinson’s Disease except that it progresses with aging. That is why any medical professional ideally starts diagnosing by ruling out other diseases based on the symptoms. When all other possible diseases are ruled out, a movement disorder specialist prescribes medication to observe the response in order to accurately diagnose it.
Parkinson’s Disease symptoms usually do not appear before 80% of motor movement brain cells are damaged. Due to this the neurons known as substantia nigra in the striatum are lost. After diagnosis of the disease, most of the patients identify symptoms years before it is diagnosed.
Men are more prone
According to Parkinson’s Disease Foundation men have higher risk of getting Parkinson’s Disease than women. Men are one and a half times more prone to it than women. The major reason behind this is the exposure to toxins and physical degradation of body in men is more than women. Head trauma is also higher in men leading to early onset of Parkinson’s Disease.
There is no definite cause of the disease
Parkinson’s Disease is still a mystery in terms of the cause. There are many studies going on based on the genetic mutation of LRRK2 gene which defines the brain functioning of humans, but no success is found yet. Environmental factors are also considered to be a major factor in causing the disease according to studies. But at this time, it is nearly impossible to determine the cause of disease in the patients.
No identical symptoms occur
As it is known, Parkinson’s Disease hits every person in a unique way. The progression is also quit different for every patient. Medical professionals usually consider 4 classic symptoms to be common in all of them – depression, tremors, motor function disorder and anxiety. Each person experiences the disease in an individual way throughout their life too.
Food can cause dose failure
The medication for treating Parkinson’s Disease has its conditions. People during the on-medication stage need to make exceptions in terms of diet. Amino acids interfere with the absorption of the chemical and cause doe failure. Food items like Bacon, beef and red meat that are rich in amino acids are the primary food products that cause dose failure.