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Antihistamines are medications that block the effects of histamine. Allergies are routinely treated with them. They were used to treat Parkinson's disease because their anticholinergic properties helped alleviate symptoms.
During voluntary movements, there is a loss of balance and muscle coordination.
Most of the brain is made up of the cerebrum. It houses the frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes of the brain and the entire neocortex.
The Nervous System is a network of nerve cells and fibers that transmits nerve impulses from one body part to another.
The brain's most significant part is in charge of thinking, reasoning, memory, sensation, and voluntary movement. Chorea is a type of dyskinesia (abnormal development) characterized by rapid, movement-like movements. It might be a consequence of high dosages of levodopa or potentially long haul levodopa treatment. It can regularly be mistaken for Parkinson's illness.
Cogwheel rigidityStiffness in the muscles, with a jerky quality when arm and leg joints are repeatedly moved.
CT scanCT (Computed Tomography) output is a procedure that uses a progression of X-beams to make picture "cuts" of the body from various introductions to make a two-dimensional cross sectional pictures of the body. Infrequently called CAT check, for Cmputed Axial Tomography.
DementiaA decline in memory and/or intellectual functioning severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning. Some Parkinson’s patients experience dementia, generally at later stages of disease progression. This symptom does not typically respond to dopamine replacement therapy.
DepressionA mental state, and non-dopamine-responsive side effect of Parkinson's illness, portrayed by sentiments of misery and an absence of capacity to start action.
Dopamine - a compound present in the body as a neurotransmitter and a precursor of other substances including epinephrine.
DysarthriaSpeech difficulties caused by the disturbance of the muscles associated with speech.
DysequilibriumUnsteadiness or balance problems.
DysphasiaDifficulty in swallowing.
DystoniaA development issue that usually includes the head, neck and tongue. It can bring about automatic composition developments and surprising stances. It is regularly mistaken for Parkinson's malady.
ExcitotoxicityOverstimulation of nerve cells by nerve impulses. Excitotoxicity often leads to cell damage or death, and may play a role in Parkinson’s disease.
Facial maskingAn indication experienced by a few people with Parkinson's, in which the face is stable with lessened eye-cover flickering.
FatigueFatigue is a non-motor symptoms of PD that occurs in 30-50% of patients with PD and is much more frequent in PD than in age-matched controls. The reasons for chronic fatigue in PD are poorly understood.
FlexionA bent, curved posture.
FreezingAbrupt and temporary inability of Parkinson’s patients to move that frequently occurs when beginning to walk or at a boundary such as a door or when exiting a car.
MicrographiaThe tendency to have very small handwriting due to difficulty with fine motor movements
Malfunction - fail to function normally or satisfactorily
Neuron A nerve cell.
NeurotransmitterA particular compound delivered in nerve cells that allows the transmission of data between nerve cells.
Nigrostriatal DegenerationDegeneration of the nerve pathways from substantia nigra to the striatum.
Non-motor symptomsPoorly understood symptoms of Parkinson’s that affect body systems other than movement. These include cognitive impairment, sleep problems and depression. These typically do not respond to dopamine replacement therapy. For more information see what patients on our Patient Council have to share on the topic of non-motor-symptoms.
NorepinephrineChemical transmitter found mainly in two areas of the brain involved in governing the involuntary autonomic nervous system.
On-off EffectVariances that happen in light of levodopa treatment in which the individual's portability changes all of a sudden and erratically from a decent reaction (on) to a poor reaction (off).
Postural DeformityStooped posture.
Postural InstabilityDifficulty with balance.
Postural TremorTremor that increases when hands are stretched out in front.
Prognosis – course of a disease.
Range of MotionThe extent that a joint will move from being fully straightened to completely bent.
ReceptorA sensory nerve ending that responds to stimulus.
Resting tremorOne of the cardinal clinical features of Parkinson’s disease, an unwanted and uncontrollable movement that affects a limb when it is at rest and stops for the duration of a voluntary movement.
RigidityIncreased resistance to passive movement that occurs in the limb and trunk muscles.
Rivastigmine tartrateRivastigmine tartrate inhibits enzymes that break down acetylcholine.
SerotoninA brain neurotransmitter that may be deficient in some cases of depression and whose potential role in Parkinson’s disease is under investigation.
Degeneration - the state or process of being or becoming degenerate; decline or deterioration.
Sleep dysfunctionSleep dysfunction occurs in about two-thirds of patients with PD, with frequent problems being night-time awakening, difficulty falling asleep and sleep duration.
ToxinA poisonous substance.
TremorInvoluntary, uncontrollable, rhythmic movements (fast or slow) that may affect the hands, head, voice or other body parts. Resting tremor is one of the cardinal motor features of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease
UnilateralOccurring on one side of the body. Parkinson’s motor symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity) may begin unilaterally. (Parkinsons Association of the Carolinas, Par 1-87)
Resulting in or characterized by degeneration of the nervous system, especially the neurons in the brain.
Tremors - An involuntary trembling movement
Bradykinesia - Slowness in movement: one of the manifestations of this condition
Shuffling gait - making small shuffling steps
Anosmia - Loss of the sense of smell
Micrographia - Cramped and Small handwriting
Hypophonia - Softness in speech resulting from a lack of coordination in muscles associated with vocals
Insomnia - Sleep disorders
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 when he had only lived for 29 years of his entire life. This could be the last thing he expected to hear in his life since the disease is associated with the old age. Though it was heartbreaking, Michael sees every day as a gift, but more an opportunity to help other sufferers. He was brave and disclosed his condition to the public in 1998. It was this time that the Canadian- American actor decided to launch The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Despite his worsening condition, he remained focused to find the cure for the disease. In regards to his career, he retired from active participation in the film industry and mainly worked as a voice-over actor in the movies (Pringsheim et al., 56).
Parkinson's disease refers to a progressive disease of the nervous system which affects the middle-aged and elderly population. The disease is associated with the degeneration of the basal ganglia of the cerebrum as well as low neurotransmitter dopamine. The condition involves malfunction and death of neurons. The neurons cells produce dopamine which affects the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. The condition progress inhibits the production of dopamine by the neuron cells thus the patient may be unable to control movement normally. Michael J. Fox’s career was initially compromised, but he later recuperated and got back to film production industry. Despite the facts that the cure for the condition is not yet established, medication markedly improved the life of Fox from the symptoms of the disease.
The signs and symptoms of the condition are often mild in the early stages and may go unnoticed. In regards to Fox's condition, he was shaking particularly in his left limb and hand. The major characteristics of Parkinson's disease is a tremor of the hand when it is relaxed usually at rest. The second most obvious signs of Parkinson's disease is bradykinesia. The disease reduced the ability of Fox to move thus making it difficult for him to perform even simple tasks. Due to Bradykinesia Fox would find it difficult to get out of the chair (Nalls et al., 211). He was also dragging his feet as he tries to walk. Rigid muscles is also another signs and symptoms of the condition. Cogwheel rigidity typically occurs in some parts of the body thus making it difficult to move and may sometimes be painful. Other signs and symptoms include dysequilibrium, ataxia, changes in speech and lastly micrographia.
Parkinson's disease is always associated with the hereditary factors. Research has identified specific genetic mutations that can cause Parkinson's diseases. However, this condition is uncommon except in rare cases when there are family members who are affected by the condition. In some cases, there are certain gene variations which happen to facilitate the chances of Parkinson's disease though with a relatively small risk of the condition. The second cause of illness is the environmental triggers (Yitshak Sade et al., 213). Exposure to some toxins or pollutants may increase the risk of contracting the disease in the later stage of life. However, the risk through this is minimal and does not constitute to a bigger percentage of Parkinson disease.
The condition has no specific cure, but medications can help control the symptoms. However, in the advanced stages, surgery may be advised. The patient may be advised to change some lifestyle behavior especially extreme aerobic exercise (Allen et al., pg 123). Physical therapy which focuses on balance and stretching may also be advised. In the extreme cases, a speech-language pathologist may help to improve your speech problems. Carbidopa- Levodopa is the most effective medication for the condition. It is a natural chemical that passes into your brain and is converted to dopamine. The most common side effects of this drug may include nausea among others.
The condition is not a fatal illness. However, it is a degenerative disorder which usually progresses until it leaves the patients completely incapacitated. The prognosis of Parkinson’s disease takes at least five stages. In stage one; the individual experiences mild symptoms like shaking. During the second stage, symptoms affects both the sides of the body and limbs. During the third phase, symptoms get severe, and the patient is said to have postural deformity. During stage four bradykinesia is common and limited walking occurs; patients cannot do daily tasks. In the last stage the patient cannot take care of themselves: they can neither stand nor walk. A nurse is needed at this stage. The disease worsens over an average period of 15 years (Schuepbach et al., 115). It should be noted that the rate of progression and its course varies among patients.
Untreated Parkinson's disease may lead to the deterioration of all the brain functions thus early death. Michael J. Fox is has been so crippled by the disease that he requires support when getting into his car during a seldom night out with his wife. Two years ago, Fox tried to enjoy a night with Tracy Pollan, his wife at Craig’s. As his wife followed, Michael J. Fox could be seen by observers as he was being helped into his vehicle (Mikkelson, par. 4-5). Even though his courage knows no bounds, it is clear that Michael is losing the ‘heartbreaking’ battle.
Allen, Natalie E., Allison K. Schwarzel, and Colleen G. Canning. "Recurrent falls in Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review." Parkinson’s Disease 2013 (2013).
Mikkelson, David. Michael J. Fox Losing ‘Heartbreaking’ Fight against Parkinson’s disease. Snope, 10 April. 2016, http://www.snopes.com/2016/04/10/michael-j-fox-parkinsons/. Accessed 24 January 2017
Nalls, Mike A., et al. "Large-scale meta-analysis of genome-wide association data identifies six new risk loci for Parkinson's disease." Nature genetics 46.9 (2014): 989-993.
PDF. What is Parkinson’s disease? PDF, 2017, www.pdf.org/about_pd. Accessed 24 January 2017.
Pringsheim, Tamara, et al. "The prevalence of Parkinson's disease: A systematic review and meta‐analysis." Movement disorders 29.13 (2014): 1583-1590.
Schuepbach, W. M. M., et al. "Neurostimulation for Parkinson's disease with early motor complications." New England Journal of Medicine 368.7 (2013): 610-622.
Yitshak Sade, Maayan, et al. "Parkinson’s disease prevalence and proximity to agricultural cultivated fields." Parkinson’s Disease 2015 (2015).
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