Learn about the symptoms that may indicate Parkinson's disease. The health of your elderly relatives depends on your attention.
Learn about the symptoms that may indicate Parkinson's disease. The health of your elderly relatives depends on your attention.Shaking hands disease
Parkinson's disease mainly affects the elderly. This is a chronic disease in which neurons of the substantia nigra of the midbrain and other parts of the nervous system are destroyed. This disease develops as a result of a lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
The symptoms of this disease were described several thousand years ago. One of the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt was diagnosed with parkinsonism - hand tremors and movement limitations. In 1817, the English doctor James Parkinson published his "Essay on Trembling Paralysis", in which he described in detail the symptoms of six patients. And in the second half of the 19th century, the French neurologist Jean Charcot suggested calling such a disorder Parkinson's disease.
Today, Parkinson's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's disease. The incidence of the disease varies from 60 to 140 patients per 100 thousand population. If we consider only elderly people over 60 years old, the percentage of patients is 1%, over 85 years old - up to 4%. Moreover, men suffer from this disease more often than women.
The first sign of Parkinson's disease is considered to be a pronounced tremor of the hands. The patient may experience some difficulties when performing elementary household activities: tying shoelaces, lighting a cigarette, eating, etc. Over time, the disease progresses, and the tremor becomes more pronounced, and the person is no longer able to exist without outside help. It becomes difficult for the patient to walk, coordination of movements is lost, and the gait becomes "shuffling". Professor I.M. Karaban says that Parkinson's disease can be detected based on the patient's appearance. - Practically all parkinsonians move in the same way, while every healthy person has their own unique gait.
More severe symptoms include:
There is no specific diagnosis for Parkinson's disease. A disease can be suspected in the case of hypokinesia - a decrease in the number and volume of voluntary movements. Also, in the initial stages of the disease, the patient's gait slows down and a bent posture is noted. The doctor can prescribe a series of laboratory tests. This is not done in order to detect Parkinson's disease, as there is no special laboratory diagnosis of this disease. Additional tests are necessary for the doctor to detect (or exclude) diseases that could cause similar symptoms.
It is possible to detect a reduced level of the neurotransmitter dopamine thanks to the visual method of PET (positron emission tomography). However, this method is still used mainly for scientific purposes. PET equipment is very expensive and almost all our hospitals are not equipped with such equipment.Diagnosis in a dream
Recent research by Danish scientists from the University of Copenhagen has shown that Parkinson's disease can be detected 8 years before the first symptoms appear! Scientists have found that the earliest sign of parkinsonism can be considered a certain pathological motor activity in the REM sleep phase.
When a person dreams, usually only the eye muscles move, and all other muscles are at rest. In the case of Parkinson's, spasms of the muscles of the limbs, crying in sleep and other activity can be observed. Danish scientists hope that further research will lead to the fact that the treatment of symptoms at earlier stages will be much more effective.