Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain and other parts of the body. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease experience physical, mental, and emotional changes, which make comprehensive support from family, friends, and caregivers critical to living a normal life with the condition.
In this article, we will discuss Parkinson’s disease symptoms, causes, and treatments.
What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s symptoms can be different from one person to the next. The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors or shaking slow movements, stiffness of the muscles or limbs, impaired balance and coordination, difficulty walking or talking, memory loss, depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, urinary incontinence, night sweats, excessive saliva production or drooling, and dizziness upon standing up quickly.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?
The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but there are several theories as to why some people may be more likely to develop it than others. Research suggests it may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
- Genetic Factors – Scientists have identified several genes associated with increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease, including LRRK2, SNCA (alpha-synuclein), PARK7 (DJ1) PINK1 genes. Mutations in these genes are known to increase the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.
- Environmental Factors: Exposure to certain toxins, such as pesticides, has been linked to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, a link has been found between traumatic brain injury and an increase in risk for Parkinson’s disease.
- Age Factor: Age seems to play a factor when considering whether or not someone will experience an onset of symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease. The condition is commonly diagnosed after the age of 60.
How is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?
Treatment for Parkinson’s disease typically involves medications to help control motor symptoms, as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, and other supportive therapies.
- Medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease include dopamine agonists, monoamine oxidase B inhibitors, catechol O methyltransferase inhibitors, and anticholinergic drugs, all of which are designed to improve dopamine levels in the brain and reduce tremor severity and improve coordination. However, any medication can cause side effects, which should be discussed with and monitored by the doctor.
- Physical therapy helps people with Parkinson’s disease maintain strength while improving flexibility and lowering the risk of falls associated with this condition. The exercises also help in maintaining the range of motion around joints affected by rigidity.
- Occupational therapy focuses on activities of daily living (ADL) skills, such as providing strategies for compensating, where needed, during self-care tasks related to hygiene, grooming, and dressing.
- Speech-language pathology services focus on communication deficits caused by Parkinson’s disease through intensive individualized treatment sessions targeting articulation, fluency, voice, and swallowing impairment.
When it comes to living life with Parkinson’s disease, you need a strong support system and health care team, which includes neurologists.
Parkinson’s Disease Treatment in Novi, Michigan
At Associates in Neurology, you have a top-notch healthcare team on your side. Our doctors are board-certified in neurology and have advanced training and decades of experience treating Parkinson’s disease. We are a physician-owned neurology practice that maintains a reputation for excellence in communities throughout the greater Detroit area.
Associates in Neurology has neurology clinics in Farmington Hills, Novi, and Howell. To schedule an appointment with us, call our office today at (248) 478-5512, or use our convenient online request form.