Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder. This is a disorder that primarily affects the motor nervous system of the body. It is not contagious and not fatal.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease:
Dopamine is a chemical messenger in the brain which plays a vital role in coordination and movement of the muscles. In a person suffering from Parkinson’s disease , there is progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the middle area of the brain. This causes a deficiency in the availability of dopamine. As a result of this, the affected individual has three main symptoms which are tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia.
The presentation of symptoms varies greatly between individuals diagnosed and no two people will be affected in the same way. Symptoms usually become evident on one side of the body initially and will affect both sides as Parkinson’s progresses.
This is the most characteristic symptom of Parkinson’s Disease. Tremor usually begins in one hand and then spreads to the leg, before crossing to the other side. Typically it is most noticeable at rest and when stressed or tired and disappears during movement and when asleep.
Rigidity means stiffness of the muscles and it is a very common early sign of Parkinson’s disease. The muscles seem unable to relax and are tight, even at rest. Rigidity may be experienced through the entire range of movement of a joint or just in parts .
Bradykinesia means slowness of movement. This occurs because the brain is not able to control smooth and delicate movements as a result of dopamine deficiency. The fine motor coordination is affected. As a result of this, there is lack of spontaneous activity. The person will notice a change in his handwriting. The handwriting becomes smaller. There may be a change in his gait, with episodes of freezing or periods of immobility.
Other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:
The affected individual may suffer from depression as a result of the disease. Many people suffering from Parkinson’s disease often suffer from insomnia, disturbed sleep,bouts of anxiety, memory problems and difficulties in multi-tasking. In some people symptoms can include pain and discomfort particularly on the side of the body affected. Constipation is common and bladder problems, especially a tendency to pass water more frequently and with more urgency, may occur. Speech and swallowing problems tend to become more of a problem later in the illness.