What Is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the brain that affects movements often including tremors,
which happen when nerve cells are damaged. It is a chronic condition and can last for years
and even life. This condition cannot get cured but Parkinson’s disease treatment can help make
it better to a certain extent.
How Can It Affect One & How Does Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Go?
What happens is, in Parkinson’s disease certain nerve cells that are neurons in the brain break
down and die. These produce a chemical substance in the brain called dopamine. When
dopamine levels in the brain decrease, it causes abnormal activity in the brain leading to signs
of Parkinson’s. So this is one of the causes of Parkinson’s.
Various things like causes and risk factors of Parkinson’s can be elaborated as:
- Often, all males and females of all races usually stand a chance to be affected.
- The age group that is more prone to get this disease is mostly 60 and above.
- For Parkinson’s disease to happen, it’s important to know the fact that males are more
prone to get it than females.
- Abnormal genes in some people may lead to Parkinson’s, there’s no solid proof of this,
but it is noted that if more members of a family suffer from Parkinson’s, it is likely that
one member in the family could inherit it.
- Exposure to toxins is yet another likely cause, it is present in the environment and men
are more likely to experience exposure to the toxins.
Some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be:
- It usually starts very mildly with shaking or slight tremors of a hand and arm. Once the
disease progresses the shaking or tremors increases further.
- Slow blinking is present, and no facial expression.
- Drooling and difficulty in swallowing.
- Progressive tremors, and loss of fine hand movements, tremors start in one limb, hand
or fingers, and tremor in the hand also occurs at rest.
- Slow movement can make simple tasks difficult, steps may become shorter while
- Memory loss, dementia, anxiety, depression, and hallucination.
- Stooped posture, problems of balance and walking.
These symptoms can worsen as the disease progresses. Additional problems can occur at later
stages which cannot improve with medication. Such changes include thinking, sleeplessness,
bladder, constipation, blood pressure, etc. Diagnosing Parkinson’s, especially at an early stage
is a challenge but it can be done for the Parkinson’s disease treatment to begin.
Diagnosing Parkinson's disease
There is no specific test to diagnose it for Parkinson’s disease treatment. A neurologist will probably go by the medical history of the patient, wherein they review signs and symptoms, which is followed by a neurological and physical exam. Some other tests like blood tests, MRI and PET scans are done just to rule out other problems, but they are not of much help in diagnosing Parkinson’s disease. It takes time to diagnose Parkinson’s.
Giving Parkinson’s disease treatment and medicines and following up on the result may not work if it is done in smaller doses just for two or three days. Medicines will have to be given in higher doses and for a longer time for this trial. Most tests under Parkinson’s disease treatment are performed to rule out if other diseases cause these symptoms. It’s also good to know that every patient who is diagnosed with Parkinson’s does not have all the symptoms of Parkinson’s, some may not have a tremor, and others may not have other typical symptoms.
So diagnosing Parkinson’s may take time, maybe years before it is diagnosed. Once Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed, the first-line Parkinson’s disease treatment is introduced and often, and Levodopa is usually the choice. This takes the place of dopamine in the brain which helps in transmitting messages between the parts of the brain and nerves that control movement. There is another very easy and simple test which can be done at home and by yourself. The healthcare team will ask you to type out a paragraph on the computer and observe your finger movements and the rhythm when you type.
The focus is not on the way you type, the mistakes you make, or even your typing skills. The focus is actually on your finger as well as your hand movements. There is a difference in the hand movement of a person suspected of having Parkinson’s from those who don’t have the disease. These are the early signs, the tests are simple, easy, less time-consuming and the results are immediate. May or may not be 100 % reliable. Once Parkinson’s is diagnosed and Parkinson’s disease treatment has begun the caregivers’ role is to understand the disease, signs and symptoms and manage the patient efficiently.
- Depending on the stages and the progress of symptoms the caregiver assists with daily living activities, bathing, dressing, toileting, nutrition requirements, needs a balanced diet, and fruits. Vegetables, whole grains, and foods high in fibre prevent constipation. Include vitamins- vitamin C, Vit B12, and Vit E to avoid deficiencies.
- Exercise is highly recommended as it can be instrumental to teach the patient how to cope more efficiently in terms of physical movements and gestures.
- Physiotherapy can be immensely helpful as it helps keep the patient active.
- Prevention of falls is very important. It can happen because of a lack of balance. So the patient undergoing Parkinson’s disease treatment should avoid carrying things while walking, as they can be thrown out of balance. They should also absolutely avoid walking backwards and keep away clear of carpets, furniture etc that can make them trip and fall.
- Manage sleep problems to keep them at bay and help patients get an uninterrupted and comfortable sleep.
- Prevention of infection by following hand hygiene, and using PPE (personal protective equipment when required) is important. Good care and medication can slow down symptoms and keep the patient comfortable.
How Protribe Can Help You With It?
We, at Protribe Smart Wellness for Seniors, are committed to providing our patients in their time of need with Parkinson’s disease treatment and elder care. ProTribe offers a number of services that can provide the seniors and caregivers of Parkinson’s disease care during their caretaking like with nursing and attendant services which as per the requirements are available round the clock. Our caretakers and nurses are well-trained and well-equipped to manage elder care very well. Some of the services we offer are:
- Counselling to the caregiver along with elder care services like sound healing, meditation, yoga, wellness and social and recreational services as well under Parkinson’s care.
- Highly proficient psychologists and psychiatrists in teams who work with the patient and family closely under elder care along with dieticians and nutritionists who help them with their everyday meal plans.
- Physiotherapy sessions and special memory care packages including services that assist seniors to the hospital for their check-ups.
- Home diagnostic test facilities for some blood tests.
- We have partnerships with a short-term facility that provides long and short-term stays as well if the caregiver is travelling and the senior needs assistance.
- We will be soon launching a daycare centre as well for the seniors to come to spend time and also enjoy some recreational activities.
ProTribe Seniors believe in helping with the overall day-to-day management of elderly care for Parkinson’s disease treatment. Under it comes medication management, condition improvement as well as the overall safety of the senior during this time. Our cognitive and non-cognitive therapies are customized and designed for seniors as a part of the elderly care service at home. Along with this, our new program the Buddy System aligns a senior with a young student or professional who will engage with the senior regularly, do check-ins through the phone or visits and socialize with the patient according to the senior’s needs. Our program aims to establish support, friendship and companionship, especially for those seniors with family members living away from their families but we at ProTribe are just a phone call away with our elderly care!