It is a brain disease with slow progression of Parkinson’s disease and loss of brain cells. Normally there are dopamine-producing brain cells that allow the person to act in a coordinated manner in certain regions in the human brain. These cells are concentrated in a certain area of the brain called substantia nigra. Dopamine is a chemical that transmits messages between the substantia nigra and other brain regions that control body movements. When 60% to 80% of dopamine-producing cells are lost, a sufficient amount of dopamine cannot be produced and motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease occur.
Consider these symptoms!
The most important thing to remember when diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease is that two of the four main symptoms of the disease must be present for some time to allow the neurologist to think about the diagnosis. Four main motor symptoms of the disease:
Trembling or tremor: Hand, arms and legs occur.
• Bradycinzi: slowing movements. While walking, the arms do not swing, the feet are seen walking as if the ground is adhered.
In addition, facial muscles may reduce facial expressions and masked face appearance
• Rigidity: There is rigidity in the arms, legs or body.
• Postural instability: Balance problems and possible falls. The person cannot stand upright as before;
• Loss of smell,
• Low-tone speech,
• Sudden movements during sleep
• Shrinking in handwriting: Sudden contraction in handwriting by past years, contraction in written letters,
the writing is stuck. The sudden change in handwriting may be a symptom of Parkinson’s disease.
• Low blood pressure due to dizziness and fainting may be due to Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson is not only seen in the elderly!
The prevalence of Parkinson’s disease, which is 11-14 people per 100 thousand people every year, is 10 million people worldwide; Approximately 10 thousand patients are diagnosed each year. There may not be any family history in Parkinson’s. This disease is characterized by loss of age and brain cells. It may occur in younger patients even though it is more common in 50-75 years. In 10% of all patients, under 40 years of age and less of them under 20 years of age, these are more specific types of family (such as familial) Parkinson’s patients.
About 10% of the patients receive a diseased gene directly from their mother and / or father, which are young patients. Parkinson’s disease actually arises on the basis of a genetic predisposition. Even if a person does not have Parkinson’s disease in his / her parents or family, he may have some genetic patterns.
Major genetic studies show that the variability in some genes predisposes us to Parkinson’s disease. Although it is unclear what extent it contributes to, it is emphasized that pesticides, especially water contaminants such as well water, and environmental factors, such as some toxins, are additional factors that contribute to the emergence of the disease.
Parkinson moves slowly but destructively!
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, and as the time progresses the symptoms worsen and the quality of life of the patient is negatively affected. However, with the right treatment, most patients can maintain their normal life for many years. It is important to get medical opinion as soon as signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s are detected; thus, it is possible to evaluate the treatment options in the best way.
The main goal of the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease is to improve the patient’s quality of life!
The diagnosis in Parkinson’s disease is based on clinical evaluation. For this diagnosis, listening to the patient’s history, neurological examination, and response to Levodopa treatment constitute the criteria. There is no blood test to diagnose. Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance (MR) do not reveal typical Parkinson’s disease; these investigations are mostly used to differentiate them from other diseases such as brain tumor and vascular occlusion. Currently, it is not possible to cure Parkinson’s, but there are several treatments that are effective in relieving Parkinson’s symptoms.
• Early diagnosis and early treatment
• To identify the main goal as improving the quality of life of the patient,
• Ensuring compliance of the patients and their relatives to the treatment,
• To teach the time to take the drugs and their relationship with foods,
• Carefully apply the regulated treatment scheme.
Today, it is aimed to improve the daily quality of life of the patient by alleviating the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with the drugs used. The treatment plan is prepared according to the patient’s age, the disease period and the side effects of the drugs used. The goal is to increase the level of dopamine in the brain level decreasing. In the early period of the disease, dopamine is used without exhaustion, dopamine is used for a longer period of time, dopamine-containing or dopamine receptors are used to keep the drug. It may also be necessary to use additional drugs when depression or dementia occurs outside the movement. In the surgical treatment of Parkinson’s disease, the so-called ablative treatment (thalamotomy) and deep brain stimulation (DBS) are applied.