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Know the disease




Parkinson's Disease affects around 10 million people worldwide and is characterized by symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, slowness, gait change, and speech distortion. Genetic mutations may increase the risk of developing the disease, and exposure to certain environmental toxins could also slightly increase the risk. While Parkinson's Disease can be hereditary, it is quite rare, and most cases are idiopathic. Gut bacteria imbalance could be a precursor to the disease, as constipation could indicate the possibility of PD. Parkinson's Disease has five stages, with symptoms ranging from mild motor symptoms to loss of balance, difficulty swallowing, and cognitive changes. Chronic pain in PD is caused by two different types of CNS pathologies and may be treated more effectively through targeted pain treatments.

Following are some of the recent articles about understanding the disease better:


1)

Parkinson’s Disease – Are you at risk?

About 10 million people globally suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. The usual symptoms of this disease include tremors, stiffness, slowness, gait change, speech distortion, etc.

Following are some of the causes of this disease:

Genes: Some generic changes may lead to PD. However, spread of disease to several family members may occur in very rare cases. There are a few genetic variations that apparently increase the risk of PD.

Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental factors like some toxins may lead to PD later in life. Again, this is a small risk.

The risk factors for this disease include:

Age: Middle and later life (usually post 60) has more risk than young.

Heredity: Family members of a patients may be at risk, but the risk is small, unless many of the close relatives in family have PD.

Gender: Men are more likely than women.

Toxins: Exposure to certain toxins like pesticide or herbicides may increase the risk slightly.

Following is the link to the original article:


2)

Does PD run in families?

Parkinson’s Disease is can be hereditary, though this is quite rare. Out of all the cases, only a very small number of cases have been reported as hereditary. Most have idiopathic Parkinson’s, which essentially means that the cause is unknown.

Certain gene mutation can increase the risk of PD. In spite of mutation, PD may or may not develop.

Most common genetic cause of PD are changes n the LRRK2 gene. LRRK2 protein is found in the nerve cells in the brain. It is also found in heart, kidney and lungs. Genetic cases aren’t always hereditary.

Following is the link to the original resource:


3)

Gut bacteria imbalance could be pre-cursor

Scientific research shows that alpha-synuclein spreads in the enteric nervous system before it enters the central nervous system and then the disorder propagates to the brain. Hence, decades before PD symptoms become visible, constipation could indicate the possibility of PD.

Following is the link to original source:


4)

Stages of Parkinson’s Disease

As per Hoehn and Yahr staging system, there are five stages of PD:

Stage 1 and 2 are early stages, 2 and 3 are mid while 4 and 5 are advanced stages. It should be noted that PD can look different for different people.

Also, long before the stage 1, a pre-motor stage occurs. This may involve symptoms like loss of smell, REM sleep movement disorder, where person acts out the dreams and constipation.

Stage 1: This may involve mild motor symptoms (e.g. tremors). May includes changes to facial expression, posture, walking. These symptoms may occur on one side of the body. Daily life continues.

Stage 2: More noticeable. Movement difficulties, muscle stiffness, on both sides of the body. Daily activities become more time consuming than before. May have trouble walking or maintaining posture.

Stage 3: Loss of balance, risk of falling. Daily activities can be challenging, but still fully independent.

Stage 4: More severe symptoms. May need walker or assistance to get around. Full time help may be needed. May develop non-motor symptoms. Difficulty swallowing.

Stage 5: Leg stiffness preventing walking or standing. Need wheelchair and nurse care. May develop cognitive changes, slowed memory, thinking and difficulty in concentrating. Dementia, hallucinations and delusions are common.

Following is the link to the original source:


5)

Chronic pains in PD

Scientists at a leading organization studied the mechanisms of chronic pains associated with PD. They found two major types of pains, viz. spontaneous pain and hypersensitivity. These pains are caused due to two different types of CNS (central nervous system) pathologies. This study may help in targeted pain treatments. A rat model was used for the study. Loss of dopamine producing neurons in a specific brain area that is responsible for pain processing. This leads to hypersensitivity. This discovery may help in developing effective treatment against sensitivity.

Following is the link to the original source:



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