Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that affects a person’s movement.
- Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive disorder.
- Almost 10 million people are affected by PD.
- PD occurs in the substantia nigra region in the brain.
- The cause of PD is not known.
- Other names used to refer to PD is paralysis agitans and shaking palsy.
- A person with PD may develop the disease for almost 20 years but for some, it develops faster.
- Telltale symptoms that help doctors diagnose PD right away:
1. The Stages of Parkinson’s Disease
- Tremor on one side of the body
- Change occurs in posture, walking, and facial expressions
- Symptoms such as tremors and rigidity affecting both sides of the body
- Daily tasks are getting difficult but patient may continue to live alone
- Middle stage
- Hallmark symptoms are loss of balance and slow movements
- Common accidents are falls
- Symptoms are limiting and severe
- The person needs help in doing daily activities
- Can’t live alone
- Debilitating stage
- The legs are too stiff that walking is impossible
- At this stage, the person may be in a wheelchair or bedridden
2. Rating Scales
- Hoehn and Yahr Stages
- Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale
3. Risk Factors
- Environment Factors such as:
- Head injury
- Exposure to pesticides
4. Signs and Symptoms
- Small handwriting (micrographia): handwriting changes. Handwriting may change (smaller fonts than usual)- sentence structures and words get mixed up
- Loss of smell
- Sleeping problems: there is a change in the way a person sleeps such as sudden movements or acting out in dreams.
Motor and sensory problems
- Low or soft voice: a change in the way the person speaks
- Mask face
- Dizziness or Fainting
- Stooping or Hunching Over
- Shuffling gait
- Cognitive changes
- Early satiety
- Excessive sweating
- Increase in dandruff
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Lightheadedness otherwise called postural hypotension
- Loss of sense of smell
- Mood disorders
- Sexual problems
- Sleep disorders
- Urinary incontinence, urgency, and frequency
- Vision problem
- Weight loss