Parkinson’s disease is a form of neurological illness that hampers one’s mobility and makes one unable to move. The symptoms of the said disease appear gradually, over time. Sometimes it begins with a barely felt tremor in any one hand. The tremors keep on going even though the disease, ever since it was recognized has always been associated with stiffness or slowness of movement.
In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may display little or no expression at all. While walking, chances are your arms will not swing and your speech will also become slurred or soft. Most symptoms of this disease show themselves when the disease reaches a stage at which it can’t be cured.
Even though it can not be cured, there is some medicine out there that would ease out some of the symptoms and somewhat thaw the progress of the disease. In some cases, doctors might recommend surgery to control some specific area of the brain of the diseased individual that will somewhat alleviate the symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease indications and symptoms might vary from person to person. Early symptoms may be subtle and go unrecognized. Symptoms normally begin on one side of your body and worsen on that side, even if symptoms begin to impact both sides.
Among the indications and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
Parkinson’s disease causes particular nerve cells which are called neurons in the brain to progressively degrade or die. Many of the symptoms are caused by a loss of neurons that generate dopamine which is nothing more than a type of chemical messenger present in the brain. When dopamine levels fall, aberrant brain activity occurs, resulting in reduced mobility and other Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease has no established etiology, however various variables appear to have a role, including:
Researchers have also arrived at the conclusion that various changes occur in the brains of persons suffering from Parkinson’s disease, yet it is unknown why these changes occur. Among the modifications are:
Presence of Lewy Bodies: Microscopic signs of Parkinson’s disease include clumps of particular chemicals within brain cells. These are known as Lewy bodies, and scientists believe they offer a vital clue to the etiology of Parkinson’s disease.
Alpha-synuclein is a protein present in Lewy bodies. Although several compounds are discovered within Lewy bodies, experts believe that one of the most crucial proteins that are a cause of Parkinson’s disease is a naturally occurring and widely distributed protein known as alpha-synuclein (also known as a-synuclein).
It is present in a clumped form in all Lewy bodies form in the cells that are unable to degrade. This is a major topic for Parkinson’s disease researchers right now.
Because the etiology of Parkinson’s disease is unclear, reliable strategies to avoid the condition are also unknown. According to certain studies, regular aerobic exercise may lessen the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Other studies have shown that persons who consume caffeine, which is present in coffee, tea, and cola, are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who do not.
Green tea consumption has also been linked to a lower chance of acquiring Parkinson’s disease. However, it is still unclear if caffeine genuinely protects against Parkinson’s disease or if it is connected to the disease in some other manner. There is currently insufficient data to show that drinking caffeinated beverages can protect against Parkinson’s disease.
In all the cases of identifying Parkinson’s disease, it has been seen that the disease was identified when one was older but there is one hypothesis that might aid the population that is looking to detect Parkinson’s disease in someone quite early in life.
Braak’s hypothesis, named for professor Heiko Braak, MD, who proposed the notion in 2003, proposes that Parkinson’s disease develops on the body’s periphery rather than in the brain. According to Braak’s concept, the early indicators of Parkinson’s disease are detected in the stomach and the olfactory bulb, a brain region involved in the sense of smell.
The deposition of the protein alpha-synuclein (a crucial feature of Parkinson’s disease, also known as Lewy bodies) is thought to start in the gastrointestinal system or the olfactory bulb before spreading to other parts of the brain. After alpha-synuclein aggregates develop, they appear to be capable of expanding and spreading across the brain from nerve cell to nerve cell.
The formation of alpha-synuclein aggregates corresponds with the beginning of symptoms. The presence of alpha-synuclein aggregates in the brainstem (region of the brain near the base of the skull) correlates with the onset of motor symptoms.
The presence of alpha-synuclein aggregates in the cortex (the outer layer of the brain that governs higher mental processes and cognition) is linked to dementia and cognitive failure.
One field of study aimed at assisting in the early identification and treatment of Parkinson’s disease is the hunt for “biomarkers”—proteins or molecules in the blood, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid that consistently help diagnose the disease, especially at the early stage.
Recent research, for instance, discovered alpha-synuclein clumps in the cerebral fluid. These aggregates were discovered in Parkinson’s disease individuals but not in people with other neurologic diseases. Many research studies are being conducted in order to uncover novel biomarkers, particularly those that may be able to predict whether or not someone would get Parkinson’s disease in the future.
Parkinson’s disease is frequently accompanied by the following additional issues, which may be treatable:
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