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World Parkinson’s Day: Know common symptoms of the disease which should not be ignored

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Parkinson’s disease is a neurological condition that causes tremors, stiffness, and difficulties walking, balancing, and coordinating.

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According to the Parkinson Disease Statistics report, Parkinson’s disease affects between seven and ten million individuals globally.

While age is a proven risk factor for the disease, males are more prone than women to get this health problem.

The World Parkinson’s Day is celebrated on April 11 to raise awareness about the disease and help people better understand it.

What causes Parkinson’s disease?

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Parkinson’s disease occurs in people when nerve cells in the brain’s basal ganglia that govern movement are damaged. Normally, a brain neurotransmitter called dopamine coordinates the movement of these nerve cells in the body. When these nerve cells are damaged or die, the release of dopamine is reduced, making it difficult for the patient to coordinate walking, balance, and other actions that are necessary for human survival.

Symptoms of Parkinson

Tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw or head

People with this condition have tremors in their hands, arms, jaw, and head. This tremor resembles an uncontrollable rhythmic shaking or movement of the body. The chin, lips, face, and legs might all experience tremors or shakiness.

Despite the fact that this is the initial sign of the disease, it continues in about 80% of patients, according to doctors. These tremors can be annoying, but they are not incapacitating.

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Stiffness of limbs

Parkinson’s disease is commonly characterised by stiffness or tightness in the limbs. As per Parkinson’s Foundation: “Rigidity, while seldom the main symptom early in Parkinson’s, is experienced as a stiffness of the arms or legs beyond what would result from normal ageing or arthritis. Some people call it “tightness” in their limbs. Stiffness can occur on one or both sides of the body and contribute to a decreased range of motion. This can lead to problems with achiness or pain in the muscles or joints affected.”

Slow movement

Parkinson’s disease causes a person’s movement to slow down because the responsible nerve cells that govern movement in the body die off. Bradykinesia is the medical term for this disorder. It’s one of the most common signs of Parkinson’s disease.

Bradykinesia can be caused by a variety of factors, although it is most commonly linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Loss of balance and coordination

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During the early stages of the condition, the patient frequently falls down. The patient loses balance and falls down due to weak balance and coordination. As the danger of falling grows, so does the risk of being disabled as a result of the fall. This might have a negative impact on the person. According to a research, postural instability causes frequent falls, which is not reversible with dopaminergic medication.

Other major symptoms linked to Parkinson’s disease

Other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include loss of smell, difficulty sleeping, bending or hunching over, dizziness or fainting, and a low voice.

Many specialists have connected Parkinson’s illness to tiny handwriting. When a person is diagnosed with this condition, it will be difficult for them to write, and their writing pattern may change. The individual may write carelessly in an attempt to cram more words onto a page.

Even if they are joyful on the inside, people with Parkinson’s disease usually have a gloomy expression.

The condition is also associated to constipation.

Risk factors

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Parkinson’s disease is more common in males than in women, despite the fact that age is the most important risk factor. According to a study, males are 1.5 times more likely than women to have the condition. Parkinson’s disease usually strikes people around the age of 60.

If there’s a family history of Parkinson’s disease, one may experience it in later ages as well. “About 10 to 20 percent of Parkinson’s disease cases are linked to a genetic cause,” says Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Institute for Cell Engineering at Johns Hopkins.

The environment has a significant part in this as well. Pesticides, herbicides, detergents, and heavy metals have all been connected to the development of Parkinson’s disease, according to health experts.

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