Parkinson’s this information has recently become under

Parkinson’s Disease which
is commonly abbreviated as PD is a chronic progressive neurological disease
process that affects the dopamine production of the brain. The cells that are
most commonly affected are the substantia nigra, which produce dopamine that
enables the movements most people are unaware of on a daily basis. The eventual
death of the substantia nigra causes the rigid or complete loss of motor skills
in those affected by Parkinson’s Disease. However, this information has
recently become under debate due to While Parkinson’s is relatively common, claiming the
lives of over ten million people worldwide, no two cases are alike even though
they contain slight commonalities.

 Parkinson’s Disease has recently been
discovered as having a genetic factor involved in it although,The genetic factor has played a large part in being
able to detect young-onset Parkinson’s Disease which is defined as being
diagnosed before the age of fifty. It has recently been discovered that the
genes affected are   In
atypical cases symptoms that can mirror Parkinson’s do present in a the
juvenile age group this has been labeled as Juvenile Parkinson’s and is most
commonly associated to high risk Parkinson’s Disease gene mutations. Even
though the age group of people whom are diagnosed with Parkinson’s can differ
significantly the general signs and symptoms remain the same.

Early
changes in the body posture typically go unnoticed by most that are diagnosed.
The complications of these symptoms are what lead to the diagnosis of
Parkinson’s. Such things can be as small as added depression and anxiety
without outside factors being changed. These emotional changes can also then affect
sleeping patterns. It is common for patients with Parkinson’s to have
frequently interrupted sleep patterns such as waking up multiple times a night,
falling asleep too early in the evening, and taking an increasing number of
naps throughout the day. A common but not widely known factor is losing the
sense of smell, which is normally the first indication of Parkinson’s, or
slowly not being able to distinguish the differences between like smelling
odors. Once a patient has had significant changes in emotional and core senses
the signs of the disease progress. Small changes in bowel incontinence can be
seen or the inability to urinate all together. With the decreasing muscle
control most patients also see some mild constipation as even the digestion track
will slow down. As the parasympathetic nervous system slows down from the
apoptosis of motor neurons swallowing problems also develop. The muscles will
be slower to respond when swallowing leading to a buildup of saliva which can
cause an increase in drooling and also propose an airway blockage problem. The
signs that are most talked about are Once these are present it becomes a very fast paced process while some
medications can slow the disease if it was diagnosed after the severe symptoms
have set in they are unlikely to help. Due the difference in what symptoms and
signs can occur doctors have developed stages to define the disease process.

Not
every person diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease will have all of the symptoms,
nor be in the same order, or in the same intensity as other patients. However,
there are patterns that are recognizable and therefore stages have been set up
to track the progression of the disease. The stages are labeled as stage one
though stage five. In stage one symptoms are typically only on one side of the
body and do not interfere with daily activities. Most changes occur in walking
and body posture. By stage two body rigidity begins to set in, and tremors
occur on both sides of the body. Daily tasks are getting harder and do take
longer to complete however, living alone is still a feasible option. Stage
three is also called mid-stage were daily activities are significantly impaired
and things such as eating and getting dressed will be near impossible to
complete alone. Due to loss of balance in this stage falls become increasingly
common. By stage four the disease symptoms are severe and limiting the affected
person will require mobility equipment and assisted living situations. The
final stage five is ultimately debilitating when the tremors set into
stiffness. Most patients are completely unable to walk and become bed ridden.
In this stage hallucinations and delusions become common and the disease
process now affects not only the motor skill set but also the psychological
side. There are two rating scales that doctors base these stages off of. The
Hoehn and Yahr stages help define the severity of the physical symptoms during
the stages and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale helps rate changes
in non-motor issues, mood and social interactions. There is an additional
hypothesis that has recently developed called the Braak’s hypothesis which
states While research and new developments are coming out constantly about where the
disease process starts and how long it takes to advance, one thing remains the
same it is a disease that has no cure. While it has no cure the patients die
with having Parkinson’s it is not a disease that you die from.

There
are however drugs that you can take in order to combat the symptoms such as
taking Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors to help with depression and
anxiety changes that occur. The most common drug to be used for Parkinson’s
patients is carbidopa-levodopa it must be given in large doses and will help
control the tremors, this drug is also the most common way of diagnosing
Parkinson’s. Other medications that can be added to the treatment plan are
dopamine agonists with mirror the dopamine effects in the brain and help to
ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s. MAO-B inhibitors also get subscribed which
help slow down the breakdown of naturally occurring dopamine.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors can also be taken to prolong the
initial effects of the Levodopa which also helps stop the breakdown of dopamine.  Although all of these medications can be
subscribed they do have a significant downfall of added risks of hallucinations
and increased dyskinesia in the late stages of the disease. The most dramatic
of all “fixes” is going through deep brain stimulation. This option is
typically only suggested to patients who have seen little to no effects from
the above medications. The risks to having deep brain stimulation implanted is
severe infection, stroke or brain hemorrhage. It can be adjusted in strength as
the disease process advances to help ease the increase physical symptoms.
However, it is important to remember that while there are many medications and
procedures that can be used Parkinson’s still remains an incurable disease.