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Living Healthfully - December 2009

What's going on in Parkinson's disease?

December 25th 2009 06:16
In PD the patient's brain has neurotransmitter imbalance. Neurotransmitter are substances which signal specific instructions for proper functioning of our nervous system.

In this case the neurotransmitter imbalance is between dopamine and acetylcholine. dopamine becomes less, and because of this nothing restricts the excitatory functions of acetylcholine. And so the muscles are always contracted (excited), even in an individual's resting state.

Dopamine usually is secreted in the substantia nigra of the brain. And so if this part of the brain is affected, there is nothing to produce dopamine-result rigidness of the arms, trunk, and legs.

They say that gene defects can contribute to such degeneration, and a time comes when an affected individual would express such defect on the substantia nigra. Trauma to the head may also be contributory, as boxers would manifest the disease later on in their lives.

it is important that a person affected by the condition seeks medical attention, especially of a neurologist. L-dopa is an important element in managing movement disorders, but mind you, such management is only supportive. Because the length that a patient would go symptomless would depend on the potency of the drugs given to them.

Physical therapy is also important. Exercises will be given to affected persons, depending on their needs and present capabilities. Gait training is also beneficial for patients. And more importantly, PT is being employed to slow-down or even prevent the development of complications (which include muscle atrophy, muscle tightness and contractures, lung problems, bed sores, etc.).


Parkinson's Disease

December 23rd 2009 12:55
Lately an NBA forward, Brian Grant was reported to have Parkinson's disease. At 37 years old, such news is very unusual coz the condition usually affects old people.

Other known personalities diagnosed to have Parkinson's are Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali.

I suddenly remembered one of my encounters on the disease, when I handled a friend who (shall I say) is very close to me. And so I can say that I have felt their sufferings...

Parkinson's disease

Imagine yourself wanting to reach for something, but your hands are too rigid for you to perform purposeful movement. Imagine yourself though wanting to rest, but cannot do so because your hands and feet keep on trembling. Have you tried walking but when you decide to stop you cannot do so unless you bump into something? Imagine walking in short, festinating steps. How would these feel?

Parkinson's disease (PD) is usually a condition affecting old people. That's why it's called Paralysis Agitans. But young people like Brian Grant can also be affected.

PD belongs to a group of disorder known as movement disorder. Such pertaining to movement problems an affected individual is facing. Usual manifestations of PD include bradykinesia (slowness in movement), rigidity of the body, tremors, and stooped posturing.

Patients' facial expressions are also affected, for their facial muscles become rigid as well.

A patient is at risk of falling and suffering traumatic injuries.

Early on in the disease an individual might not feel all of the signs and symptoms. But this is a progresssive disease. And unfortunately later on, a patient shall experience all of these manifestations.

to be continued...

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