Close X
Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

Till date, there is no standardized test to diagnose Parkinson’s disease

Dr.-Bhushan-Joshi,-Neuro-PhINVC NEWS Pune,

Ramesh (name changed), was 58 years old when he started experiencing problems in unlocking his door and typing on his computer. With time, he started experiencing tremors which made it difficult for him to even hold a cup of tea steady! Within a few years, Ramesh’s life changed from being an independent and healthy individual to one with loss of confidence and increased dependence on his family members. Over 10 million people are living with Parkinson’s disease across the world. Even though the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in India is less compared to other countries, because of its large population, India’s total burden is quite high. As we observe World Parkinson’s Day, Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune launched a ‘Parkinson’s Support Group’ to provide comprehensive medical and emotional support to patients like Ramesh in their bid to cope with the disease. Doctors at Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune say it is important to educate people about early detection of the disease, comprehensive management and the positive impact exercise can have on overall wellness. The symptoms of this disease increase with age, and only 4% people suffering from Parkinson’s are diagnosed before the age of 50. “Till date, there is no standardized test to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. The only way we are able to successfully diagnose people is by the clinical information provided by patients and results from neurological exams. Since this disease is considered to affect only older people, many of our diagnoses are of people who have had the disease for some years. What many people do not realize is that signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s can begin even in younger people. Those experiencing struggles in movement or coordination should come forward and get tested. Even though there is no cure, symptoms can be managed with medication and even exercise”, says Dr. Bhushan Joshi, Neuro Physician, Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune. Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, which means that the symptoms continue to worsen over time. It involves the malfunction and death of vital neurons (nerve cells) in one section of the brain. This malfunction produces a chemical, dopamine that sends messages to that part of the brain which controls the body’s movement and coordination. As the disease progresses, the amount of dopamine produced decreases which makes people unable to control normal movements. The cause has remained unknown, and Like Hypertension there is currently no cure, but medication and surgery [Deep Brain stimulation surgey DBS], with DBS patient manage to reduce their medications to minimal lower level and can achieve normal life style and have proven to manage its symptoms. Tremors in the limbs and face, slowness of movement, rigidity of limbs and trunk, and impaired balance and coordination are some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Small handwriting, loss of smell, trouble sleeping, constipation, dizziness or fainting are also associated with Parkinson’s disease. Even though Parkinson’s disease affects a person’s ability to move, exercise helps keep muscles strong, increases flexibility and mobility. Progression of the disease cannot be stopped, but exercise can help preventing stiffening of joints and improves balance. The type of exercise that works best depends on a patient’s symptoms, fitness level, and overall health. Generally, exercises that stretch the limbs through the full range of motion are encouraged. “We encourage patients to exercise regularly to keep their limbs functioning properly. The movement of joints allows oxygen into the muscles strengthening them. A minimum of 30 minutes a day has proven to be very beneficial in all Parkinson’s patients. We work closely with physical therapists to create personal exercise programs for all our patients depending on their requirements. Exercise not only improves a person’s well-being but also helps in reducing depression or anxiety” adds Dr. Bhushan Joshi, Neuro Physician, Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune. Heredity or having one or more family members with the disease is one of the most important risk factors. At the same time, men are more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than are women.



Users Comment