PARKINSONS DISEASE SOLICITORS - MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE COMPENSATION
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Parkinson's disease is a neurological disease that results in difficulty walking and tremors, particularly of the hands and head. Movement and coordination are affected and there is eventual dementia in some cases of the disease.
Causes of Parkinson's disease are not known. It develops most often after the age of fifty and is one of the most common diseases of the elderly population. It can occur in younger adults as well and affects both men and women. In some cases, Parkinson's disease is familial, especially when it comes to Parkinson's disease in young people. It is related to a lack of a brain chemical known as dopamine in parts of the brain. It leads to a loss of muscle function in the body.
Symptoms of Parkinson's disease include both sides of the body or just one side of the body. The symptoms of the disease are slow blinking or stopped blinking, difficulty swallowing, constipation, impaired balance or walking, drooling, a mask-like face, movement difficulties, muscle pains, rigid or stiff muscles, usually starting in the lower extremities, tremors or shaking (worse at rest or when reaching out from the body), tremors that disappear with movement, symptoms that are worse when you are tired, finger and thumb rolling, called a pill rolling tremor, and slower, quieter speech patterns.
Related symptoms include confusion, dementia, anxiety, stress, tension, hallucinations, fainting, and memory loss.
Signs and tests for Parkinson's disease include a thorough history and physical examination. Doctors look for the tremor and for muscle disorders typical of Parkinson's disease. A mental status examination can look for evidence of dementia. Tremor, problems walking and unsteady posture are looked for as well as jerky movements, muscle atrophy and variation in heart rate. Reflexes tend to be normal. There is no blood test for Parkinson's disease and CT scans or MRI scans tend to be normal but can show mild shrinkage of the brain.
Treatment of Parkinson's disease involves controlling symptoms of the disorder. Medications of varying types can control the symptoms of the disease. Most medications aim to increase the level of dopamine in the brain. The medications are not long acting and must be taken several times per day. In such cases, the doctor needs to pay attention to the type and dose of the medication and the amount of time between doses. Medications need to be taken properly in order to prevent relapses of symptoms during the day. You need to work with your doctor to find an optimal medication dosage that doesn't cause the common side effects of nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, diarrhea, and delirium. It is important to follow up regularly with your doctor.
Sometimes the symptoms of stooped posture, speech problems and frozen movements might not respond as well to the usual drug treatment. Commonly used medications for the treatment of Parkinson's disease include levodopa in the form of Sinemet, which is a combination of L-dopa and carbidopa, Parlodel, Mirapex, Selegiline, amantadine or other anticholinergic medications that control mild tremors and entacapone, which prevents the breakdown of levodopa.
You need to employ certain lifestyle changes to help yourself have fewer symptoms of Parkinson's disease. You need good general nutrition and good health; you need to exercise as well as you can; you need to undergo physical, speech and occupational therapy; you need regular rest periods and stress-free periods; you need to use special eating utensils to be able to eat better; you need railings and banisters in the house to get around better; you need to use the services of social workers to help you with services available to you.
Surgery is sometimes used in severe Parkinson's disease that involves the use of deep brain stimulation that puts in electrical stimulators in the brain to help movement. Other surgery destroys the brain areas that cause Parkinson's disease.
The prognosis of Parkinson's disease is poor. It tends to progress unabated until you are disabled completely. It can result in an early death from dementia and deterioration of brain functions.
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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here