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Parkinson Disease. Options
Dubai
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 5:02:32 AM
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Hi there.
Could some on kindly explain in simple words PARKINSON DISEASE.
Thanks.
srirr
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 5:25:01 AM

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I hope you might have made your search by now on this. You might have read the articles on Wiki or other sources.

My personal experience says it is a disease in which the patient loses his control on movements of his body. The fingers, hands, legs start shaking without control and continue to shake. The patient may not respond to move quickly. This happens because the nervous system becomes very weak.

My uncle had it. Although he could walk and talk, but he could not write, could not drive. He also had sleeping problems because of this.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 6:21:41 AM

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GabhSigenod
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 7:47:57 AM

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A devastating disease causing much suffering for its victims.
Ray41
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 8:08:46 AM

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My mother suffered from this for over 40 years. It is supposedly not genetic, but, she had 2 brothers and a sister who were also afflicted. My mother took tablets to help control her shaking, and the dose was continually being monitored by a neurologist. It did not take much to create an imbalance in the medication.
I have seen where they operate on the brain while the patient is still conscious and they locate and destroy the nerves that create the shaking. It is surreal the way in which the shaking stops once they locate the right nerve. This is why the patients need to be kept awake as the shaking stops under general anesthetic.

I had an MRI to check if I was developing Parkinson's as I used to shake quite a lot. The brain scan revealed nothing,Anxious and my shaking was attributed to toxic chemical poisoning, an over exposure to DDT when I was younger.

Link below has good information.
http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/fact+sheets/central+nervous+system/parkinsons+disease,9111?gclid=CKWrh6WJ3qsCFSFNpgodmEWEOw
RuthP
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 12:08:24 PM

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Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
Unfortunately, it is not a simple subject, because "Parkinson's disease" is often used to refer to more than one disease, and the term "Parkinsonian" is used to describe symptoms which resemble those of true Parkinson's.

Parkinson/Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative disease of one specific part of the brain, the basal ganglia. The nerves help control movement. Cells in the substantia nigra, which produce dopamine, are lost, and there is a build-up of deposits called Lewy Bodies in the neurons.

Parkinson's presents (shows symptoms), usually starting with shaking while at rest. (At this point, as many as 80% of the substantia nigra cells are already gone.) Later, the movements of a person with Parkinson's slow down. Muscles get tense and stiff, often causing "cog-wheel" movement, where the patient has trouble starting a motion. Usually coming last, posture and balance will be impaired.

Parkinson's may also be associated with dementia, usually in the late stages.

Genetics don't seem to be a factor in the regular, idiopathic late-onset PD, which usually starts after 65y/o. Early-onset PD, which generally starts between 20y/o and 50y/o does seem to have a genetic component, according to twin studies: More cases of both twins with early PD when the twins are identical than when they are fraternal.

Idiopathic PD (and early-onset) are progressive, however symptom management, usually with levodopa, both extends functional movement and lifespan. In older patients, medical management may be sufficient for their lifetime.

In younger patients, who will wind-up being on medication much longer, the medications will eventually either cease to be effective or require such high doses that the side-effects become as bad as the disease. There are experiments with implanting electrodes in the brain, which then can be used to send a mild electric current through specific areas of the brain. This is called deep brain stimulation. It may help some patients.

Also still considered experimental are cell transplants to replace lost dopaminergic cells, and gene therapies. None of these are approved clinical procedures, yet.

Parkinson's Plus diseases are a group of neurodegenerative diseases which may not be closely related to idiopathic Parkinson's. These diseases tend to start with dementia and gait abnormalities rather than shaking.

The levodopa medications are usually ineffective in these patients; the patients show severe side-effects right away. These diseases tend to progress more rapidly than idiopathic PD.

Parkinsonian tremor is Parkinson's-like shaking, usually of the hand(s)/upper extremities, occasionally of the feet legs. Shaking occurs at rest, as with PD. There is no change to the substantia nigra, nor accumulation of Lewy bodies.

Such tremor is usually benign in-and-of itself, though it may be related to past polio, nerve damage from stroke or trauma. This is not necessarily progressive and usually does not result in the rigidity and movement difficulties.
fred
Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 8:11:26 PM
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Just as RuthP said.
From my experience with my father, the first symptom was "pill rolling" with index finger and thumb.
As the disease progresses, each sufferer responds in a different manner. Some mild mannered people can become violent others can become very depressed.
Several years in, a significant loss of weight may occur from the "added" exercise.
Yes, the function of all medications diminish over time. The doctor is in a constant dose battle.
Later in the disease, falling is a danger. My father refused the wheel chair and fell several times which resulted in a deep bone infection and threatened amputation.
His last 3 years proved beyond the ability of his family to care for him. Luckily, a nursing home specializing Parkinsons was found. (People, get long term health insurance if you can afford it).
The last stage results in the abdomen muscles tightening up so the body bends over. This results in heart attack and or asphyxiation.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 4:37:15 AM

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Owlee Mouses!
Welcome back, Fred! Dancing Dancing Dancing
intelfam
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 9:27:38 AM
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RuthP posted: Parkinsonian tremor is Parkinson's-like shaking, usually of the hand(s)/upper extremities, occasionally of the feet legs. Shaking occurs at rest, as with PD. There is no change to the substantia nigra, nor accumulation of Lewy bodies.

Such tremor is usually benign in-and-of itself, though it may be related to past polio, nerve damage from stroke or trauma. This is not necessarily progressive and usually does not result in the rigidity and movement difficulties.

and fred posted:
From my experience with my father, the first symptom was "pill rolling" with index finger and thumb.

It is sometimes called parkinsonism in the UK. I guess, because of my experience, I met a number of unfortunate people who were treated with the earlier ant-psychotics. Folk sometimes think that the tremors and shakes are a symptom of schizophrenia. No, they are walking with that shuffle and with fluttering hands, solely because of their being given a much too large dose, to keep them docile! In latter days, we were briefed, when somebody started on a new drug, that if we detected any sign of pill rolling, we should get the patient to a psychiatrist tout-de-suite!!

My pal died from Parkinson's disease; the most distressing symptom for his family was his sexually dis-inhibited behaviour - well, he was unable to speak when this symptom appeared - but I think he was as distressed as they by some of his movements. A very sad illness.

But there are some new treatments on the way, I understand - haven't got the links at the moment, but I'll look.

RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 11:45:26 AM

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Joined: 6/2/2009
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Yowza! Fred, long time no see; good to see you here again!

Dear fred and intelfam,

I'm really sorry each of you had to go through that. End-stage Parkinson's is very hard to deal with.

The tremors, involuntary movement, and muscle tension/rigidity is, indeed, a lot of 'added exercise'. Couple that with difficulty eating and swallowing and it is easy to see why late-stage PD (Parkinson's Disease) patients tend to lose weight even with high-calorie diets and the best of care and assistance.

Mental changes are just as distressing, certainly for family and friends, but, yes, I believe it affects the patient, too. The brain is damaged, just as surely as if there were physical trauma. And, while one part of the brain may remember certain social conventions or behavioral norms, the governor is stuck in the 'off' position and the PD patient cannot control his or her actions. Overtly violent and sexual behaviors are very common.

The problem with the available medical treatments, as fred mentioned, is they fail over time. These medications come with significant side-effects of their own (including movement and mentation difficulties - who would guess: attacked by the disease and the treatment). Over time, it requires higher and higher doses to deal with the PD symptoms, but as the dose increases, so does the risk and severity of side effects.

There is early promise in some of the cellular and genetics research, but it is very early and very uncertain as to whether any of the current avenues will be the ones that work in the end.

I hope, for both of you, that it is mostly the good memories which remain, now.

Ruth
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