Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that is caused due to low levels of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. This chemical is produced by the cells of a part of brain called substantia niagra. This part of the brain is responsible for controlling body movements. So, when the cells of substantia niagra start dying, the levels of dopamine reduce in blood. And when the levels go down to 60-70% of optimal levels, the patient starts experiencing symptoms of this disease.
The main symptoms are tremors (uncontrolled shaking at rest), stiffness, slow movements and inability to balance oneself. Apart from these motor symptoms, patients may also experience urinary problems, constipation, difficulty in eating and chewing, changes in voice and depression. As disease progresses, one may start getting hallucinations, anxiety and serious sleep disturbances.
Who gets parkinson’s?? Well this is a question, science still has no clear answer to. Though its hereditary in some cases, most of them occur randomly. So, a combination of environmental and genetic factors is suggested. Elderly people and men more than women, are the usual candidates. There are various treatment options for parkinson’s like oral medications, deep brain stimulation and surgery in some cases. But no permanent cure exists. So, living with it is the only choice patients are left with.
Coping up with this disease is not an easy task. Everybody involved, be it the patient himself or the entire family, has to be sensitized to this disease and made aware of its symptoms and complications. Family support is of utmost importance. Apart from this, the patients should take regular medicines, do physical exercises do keep their hands and feet in good condition and avoid stress. Find more people like you, set up a group and help everybody fight with their disease till you can. Knowledge and acceptance of this disease and then help and support, is the best management that one can offer to their affected loved ones.