Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What Is Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease is a condition that affects the nervous system. As such, it impacts movement and often causes a tremor in individuals who suffer from this illness. To date, there is no cure for Parkinson's disease; however, there are medical therapies that can assist individuals in managing the condition's symptoms and improving their quality of life.

Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

The symptoms associated with this disease showcase its impact on movement. The most common is a tremor, which causes hands and limbs to shake. Individuals who have this condition may also experience bradykinesia, or slowed movement. With impaired nervous symptom function, people with Parkinson's disease may find that it takes them longer to move. For instance, they may start taking shorter steps or have difficulty getting up out of a chair. Rigid muscles, which create stiffness and limit range of motion, often contribute to this problem.

In addition to challenges with voluntary movement, individuals who have Parkinson's disease frequently experience a decline in involuntary movement. The swinging of arms when walking, the ability to blink, or even the ability to smile may decline. Changes in speech, too, occur with this illness. People who have this condition may speak softly, slur their words, or speak in a monotone manner. Writing, similarly, may change in appearance.
Complications of Parkinson's Disease

Frequently, people who have this illness suffer from complications, which can be thought of as secondary symptoms in a way. Difficulty thinking, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, bladder control problems, and sexual dysfunction are all associated with the disease.
Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease

Medical professionals cannot simply run a test for this condition; most commonly, a diagnosis is made through differential diagnostic procedures. Simply put, physicians eliminate the presence of other possible illnesses to determine if Parkinson's disease is the best diagnosis. After this is complete, if Parkinson's disease seems to be the most likely candidate, doctors often prescribe medication for the illness. If the medication creates a significant improvement in the individual's condition, it is thought as a confirmation of the diagnostic conclusion.
Parkinson's disease is a devastating condition for many individuals; however, early detection and treatment options can improve quality of life for people who suffer from this illness.

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